Kevin Devine
Put Your Ghost To Rest


4.0
excellent

Review

by AudreyFaye USER (1 Reviews)
February 7th, 2009 | 12 replies | 7,048 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Folky perfection with a bite.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Perhaps the most striking thing about Kevin Devine is his sincerity, his inability to be anyone but himself. This feature is never more evident than on the sometimes lilting, pleasantly striking, occasionally head-raising Put Your Ghost To Rest. It opens with a folky number about the bare necessity of staying true ("Brooklyn Boy") and closes with a quiet, heart-breaking number about losing everything but keeping on anyway ("Heaven Bound And Glory Be"). In between, Devine manages to make versatility seem easy armed with naught but an acoustic guitar, the occasional drum line or steel guitar and his brilliant lyricism.

I won't bother you with a track by track, but rest assured each number on this album has something unique to offer. Even within songs, Devine shows his uncanny ability to create something out of nothing. Take, for instance, "Just Stay", a track that seems at first like it will float along with some snarky lyrics and drop off, but instead crescendos into a beat-driven closing of "oohs" and "whoas" without seeming forced. Other songs, like the politically-charged acoustic "The Burning City Smoking" suggest that perhaps Devine is a closet Bright Eyes fan, while the angsty rocker "Trouble" and the electric "Like Cursing Kids" serve as reminders to fans of Devine's previous more alternative albums.

Shining above it all is Devine's voice, pretty without seeming foppish and always dripping with emotion without coming off as, well, emo. And what is a great voice without great words? James Blunt comes to mind. Instead, Devine's lyrics earn him a frequent comparison to Bob Dylan, yet Dylan never seems quite as directly cynical as this Brooklyn song writer. If you're looking for confessing wit, look no further than "Trouble", where Devine quips "Trouble makes no scene/she sweeps in surgical and clean/leaves me begging on my hands and knees/ And she's always on the clock/but she doesn't own a watch/cause she wrecks me straight into my sleep" or in "You're Trailing Yourself", when he casually mentions "Your apartment can't talk, so it's safe for your secrets." But that doesn't mean he can't be nice, offering tender little tidbits in songs like "Billion Bees," a would-be love song with the closing remarks"So we lay glowing in the grass/to watch the sun swap with the moon/to trade our future for our past/the present tense was all we knew".

Although the album is a definite shift from his heavier work, even from Split The Country, Split The Street, which came out a mere 17 months prior, it is truly a gem in its own right. It is an album that demands attention, if merely for the fact that listening to it is to meet Devine himself.

post.script.- This is my first review here, and although I've been reading for a while, I'm not positive of what you lovely folks expect from your reviews. Suggestions are welcome.


user ratings (62)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
lunchforthesky
February 7th 2009



1039 Comments


Dylan must the most cynical song writer of all time and the main problem with this is it has no bite. Review is perfectly well written but I disagree with what you wrote for the most part.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2009



17911 Comments


yeah i'd have to agree with him about dylan

i have three of devine's albums but i haven't listened to any of them yet

gaslightanthem
February 7th 2009



5209 Comments


they're not that good, this is a pretty low 3.5 for me and i'm a sap for this kind of thing

AudreyFaye
February 8th 2009



11 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh, I know Dylan is a cynic, but he tends to slip it in between metaphors, while Devine just smacks you with it.

And gaslight, if you don't think it's that good, I'm not sure why you'd rate it "great". As for me, it's been one of my favorite albums since it came out.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2009



17911 Comments


good review 2, forgot to say that

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2009



17911 Comments


your mind being blown

gaslightanthem
February 8th 2009



5209 Comments


you may have noticed i said 'not that good' referring to his albums not just this album. this is my favourite devine album and i do like it but it's is still only just a 3.5 for me which considering the 3 higher ratings it could receive makes it not all that special.

Deathcar
October 13th 2009



1534 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Although Brother's Blood maybe a stronger album as a whole, I think this is better/I enjoy it more.

Nice review.

lookatthatparkinglot
March 28th 2011



168 Comments


this guy is a faggot

iFghtffyrdmns
August 16th 2011



7047 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nuh uh kevin's cool.

flamingmouse
August 17th 2011



183 Comments


he'd be so much better if all his albums didnt have so much filler

iFghtffyrdmns
February 12th 2012



7047 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

definitely agree^

she said it's pretty but you hate yourself
i can hear it clear as day



love that fucking line



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