Wednesday, January 27, 2010

44. Set Free – American Analog Set (2005)

(Taken from the SCQ Review:)

If The Golden Band displayed the band at their most ambient and if Promise of Love was their rock album, Set Free is certainly their break-up swan song. The only album dutifully recorded in studio (several, in fact), this final release before their indefinite hiatus has a Long and Winding Road feel – luckily without the schmaltz. ‘She’s Half’ features multi-tracked vocals which harmonize the lyrical melancholy to wonderful effect, while ‘The Green Green Grass’ is as rocking as the Texas quintet get, locking into a tight guitar riff and dousing it in crystal psychedelics. By the time ‘Fuck This… I’m Leaving’ opens into electric strumming to close the disc, we’re left with little doubt that this is American Analog Set’s most ear-catching collection, and the fact that the band drove thousands of miles to record bits and pieces in various studios makes Set Free’s cohesiveness all the more impressive.

Each Amanset album is insular and, because their sixth album does little to deter that self-consciously sensitive reputation, Set Free is a certainly a record I’d fight the flames to save while my apartment collapsed around me. It’s a worthy curtain-close for a band that never seemed to care whether anyone was listening; they were playing their songs, their way. I’m just happy I found them in time to say goodbye.

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