02 November 2007

[Music Review] Cass McCombs- Dropping the Writ

Cass McCombs- Dropping the Writ

Dropping the Writ is Cass McCombs third album. And this is one of the most dynamic pieces of modern musical talent you will experience. Some songwriters claim to gain inspiration from a Muse, but McCombs seems to go a step further in capturing the Muses themselves in his songs. Melodies are so defined yet intangible; one may feel the urge to sing along to his songs, but will soon find that any attempt is thwarted by his beautiful, light-as-air vocals.

The music itself is hard to define in terms of genre. There seems to be various forms of rock, folk, pop, and psychedelic. There are tracks such as “Pregnant Pause” that are seductive in the melodic form, and use of the acoustic guitar patterns run wild under an angelic pop vocal. Other tracks such as “That’s That” tend to sound like the ghost of a Sex Pistols song; instead of anger set to thrash, it’s the persistent spirit of Punk Rock possessing the Beatles and James Taylor.

Musically speaking, Dropping the Writ is an auditory experience that is best understood just by taking the time to listen to it. The songwriting alone is a talent that I would not expect to be coming from anyone in today’s music arena. The folk elements alone hearken back to a time when writing music was about telling a story, yet the pop elements scream out that this is not musical snobbery and that everyone should enjoy this music. In my opinion, and on my honor as an experienced music-lover, a musician, and a music director at a fine radio station I say without reserve that the tracks on this album are what pop music today should be but isn’t.

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