Kurt Vile – “Wakin On A Pretty Daze”

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Kurt Vile makes it all sound so easy, doesn’t he?  He crafts the perfect laid-back stoner rock for laid-back stoner dudes, draping it in gorgeous, fleet-fingered guitar work that itself sounds like he’s spinning gold out of lounging back on his couch.  The former guitarist for The War On Drugs has followed up 2011’s excellent Smoke Rings For My Halo with a sprawling album that revels in soulful, low-key lead guitar melodies that seem to echo on forever a la the best of Crazy Horse.  The songs stretch out and find their own grooves; the effect is somewhat like watching the ambient light levels change through the curtains over the course of an afternoon spent relaxing by doing nothing much at all.  The idea is not foreign to its creator:  Vile told MTV that “the whole general thing is one long daze, and that’s waking up”.  If you’re not in the right frame of mind, however, it can seem to outstay its welcome, and his head-back-staring-at-the-sky drawl can seem to blend together after a while.  If you are in the right mood, however, it feels like the greatest open-air arena show that never wants to end.  Interestingly enough, the incense-scented folks over at RYM have this album logged in as the best of 2013 so far – that alone necessitates a spin, doesn’t it?

FINAL MARK:  A-

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