Atlas Sound
Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel
Kranky
****

From the outset, I knew I was going to like this record. It is on Kranky. Check. It is the debut solo album from Deerhunter’s frontman Bradford Cox. Check. It is deeply, painfully miserable. Check. And yet, in addition to all this, there is something else going on here setting it apart from similar solo works of the last several years. The sparkling guitars, dead percussion, and melancholy vocals all conspire, inexplicably so, to uplift rather than wallow in monochromatic misery. No small feat. In some ways it reminds me of Brian Eno and Robert Fripp’s seminal ambient electronic album No Pussyfooting (1973), a work that managed to give birth to the ambient genre while simultaneously remaining firmly within the pop universe (sans cheese). Mr. Cox, good job, you’ve done it!—Arlie Carstens