Friday, September 21, 2012

Dan Deacon - America

Gregory Heaney, performing as Dan Deacon, has made his name in underground electronica circles as an irreverent and quirky talent.  And in comparison to that reputation, America represents a bit of a rebirth.  It feels altogether more serious and wider in scope, which is appropriate in consideration of the subject: An exploration of the essence and dichotomies of the United States.  In a sense, it is Dan Deacon's attempt at an electro-pop Appalachian Spring.  Structurally, the music is intricate and layered, combining electronic and acoustic elements.  While not a party album, there still is a palpable sense of playfulness running parallel to the grand themes.

The second track, "True Thrush" --

The wistful "Prettyboy"--

The final four tracks of the album are  "USA I" through "USA IV",  subtitled in order "Is a Monster", "The Great American Desert", "Rail", and "Manifest".  Thematically, these tracks are the heart of the album and, in my opinion, would make this album a keeper even if the other tracks were not as good as they are.  If you have the time, you can listen to the suite below.

America is an cerebral and emotional musical landscape, and it feels like a celebration of the land for which it is named, reveling in its splendor and contradictions.  And it grows on the listener with each play.

Domino Records

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