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lambchop - Mr. M
The latest longplayer from Kurt Wagner's Lambchop is at once a fabulous reaffirmation of what makes the Nashville troupe so great, and also a departure into new territory. The project was actually initiated by a former Lambchop member, Mark Nevers, who approached Wagner with the idea of conjuring a "psycha-Sinatra" sound, lavishly arranged, rooted less in band performance and more in studio composition. Wagner liked the idea, and with a skeleton crew of musicians, plus string arrangements from Peter Stopschinski and Mason Neely, set about fashioning Mr M from the ground up. The mellow but moving, chamber-orchestral settings suggested by Nevers are perfect for Wagner's voice, which has never sounded so oak-smoked and characterful - fans not just of Lambchop but of high class, cosmically-attuned country fare from Jimmy Webb, Gram Parsons, Mickey Newbury, David Wiffen et al need to check this beautifully composed and recorded album quicksharp.