My 50 Favorite Albums of 2008: #47

Number 47


Going at it for over a decade now and not nearly as widely known as, say, his longtime collaborator Phil Elvrum (of Microphones and Mount Eerie fame), Karl Blau has been quietly producing his and other’s eclectic music for both K and Knw-Yr-Own Records, and it’s all been steadily getting better and better. The first among three LP’s released this year alone, A.M. is a very good example of how, every once in a while, an artist can come along that has a sound that is entirely their own. The only other musician that can be remotely compared to Blau would be the aforementioned Elvrum, but he was basically built around the sound of Blau, so it would be more right to say that Elvrum got his sounds from this man, and maybe someday he will be recognized for that. If that never happens I think it will be fine with Blau, who it seems would be content with just having the freedom to keep recording album’s at his own discretion. A.M. is brimming with sounds of complete originality, and each song shifts the record’s shape, sometimes two or three times within the same one. “Spring Morning” has got to be the shining number on the track, at least for me, as the strange drums and horns mold with the tone of Blau’s voice, making for a perfect four minutes spent. Listen to this man, for God’s sake!

1.Morning Prayer
2.Spring Morning
3.Yellow Sunbonnet
4.Lake King’s Daughter
5.Bird Song
6.Noah Richards Son
7.Of Birds
8.Stream
9.Growing Up
10.In the Morning

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