Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Extra Life/Nat Bladwin

Extra Life's Secular Works was one of the best albums of last year, and Charlie continues to reinvent this project in unexpected ways. While most of Secular Works was already sparse, tense arrangements, he stripped it down even further for this split with Nat Baldwin a singer-songwriter on a double bass. Black Hoodie, the best song on here is just Charlie with an acoustic and a viola, the other two songs just him and guitar. Of course, his voice is stellar as always, and the solo performance of I'll Burn holds up surprisingly well next to the full band version on the full-length.
Nat Baldwin's side is not as good. It holds promise, it just never achieves the same heights of melody and composition that Extra Life's does. His songs drag a bit. Weights is definitely the best one, and is also the shortest one.