Tuesday, December 21, 2010

#9 Album Of 2010: November, November - Horse Stories

November, November

Horse Stories
Perfect Black Swan Records.

Original SCQ Review

It’s difficult to profess what’s so appealing about this sophomore effort because Horse Stories’ Toby Burke doesn’t offer up a single misfire. No ugly guitar-lick or lazy lyrical stanza. The result of a pursuit for perfection, November, November is what survived intensive recordings that sought to strip back every unneeded layer, and as a modern folk record, it’s damned-near flawless.

That isn’t to say it’s perfect. As someone who inherently distrusts anything that settles too easily, too quickly, I’ve often been skeptical of my own admiration for Horse Stories because of its lean, impractically tuneful veneer. Yet Burke never steps foot outside of his own strict songwriting legislature and his discipline pays off handsomely. November, November may not push boundaries or challenge listeners but it isn’t pandering for hits either. A beautifully futile song-cycle that I’ll still sing along to ten, twenty years from now.

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