Begushkin CD review by Howard Wuelfing

Music Reviews
Begushkin CD review by Howard Wuelfing
Apr 30, 2008, 06:24

Begushkin - Nightly Things

BEGUSHKIN Nightly Things CD

As much as I've revered weirdness pretty much for its own sake throughout my life as an aesthete, Beguskin impels me to declare that sometimes odd is not enough!  This quintet does have its strengths: they write nicely understated yet memorable noir-ish tunes with enough baroque pizzazz to rise above mere soundtracky mood music. The playing is expert without being fussy, a notable highlight being the flowery guitar lines woven throughout being. If these elements of style were part of an American Music Club reunion album they'd make for some superb music.

Unfortunately, Dan Smith proves to be one mighty, biting horsefly in the ointment. While he does supply the admittedly excellent guitar, bass, mandolin, keys, etc. he also is responsible for the most ungainly vocal presence I've experienced this millennium. His pitch wobbles constantly, the sense of rhythm in evidence is likewise punch-drunk and stumbling, and together these render his plummy, effete tone downright embarrassing.  Meanwhile, what he's singing features ham-fisted rhymes, glaringly mismatched similes and subject matter that appears to be intended as dark and menacing but finally come across as merely icky.Â

This is what you'd get if you grabbed someone who was gathering up empty shopping carts in a mall parking lot, put him in front of a mic, put a gun to his head and demanded that he sing along with Antony & The Johnsons. [Locust]

-Howard Wuelfing


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