Kurt Vile
Wakin on a Pretty Daze


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dan H. CONTRIBUTOR (54 Reviews)
April 13th, 2013 | 36 replies


Release Date: 04/09/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Psychedelic subtleties...

There seems to be an almost irrepressible human need to scrutinise the new and compare it to the old. We’re always searching for influences and similarities and we have a nagging, awkward desire to label someone “the new [insert classic artist].” But sometimes, something comes along which reminds us of the beauty of simplicity, and that rather than dissecting things we should enjoy them in a primal, fundamental way. It’s certainly a view which Kurt Vile welcomes, and when you listen to Wakin on a Pretty Daze, it’s easy to see why. Rather than pin-pointing his influences he’s keen to remind us that “everything’s an influence,” and that music sometimes thrives most when it lives and breathes and exists because of everything around it. The lush, uncomplicated melodies and soft diction which dominate Wakin on a Pretty Daze embody the organic simplicity Vile aims for, and it succeeds largely on this premise.

Throughout his short but blossoming musical journey Kurt Vile has been nothing if not ambitious. The self-confidence which is reflected in the longer tracks here is indicative of his humble beginnings, as he boldly plunged headlong into a solo career even when his first project was showing great promise. Emerging following the debut release of indie outfit The War on Drugs, Vile both opened for them at concerts and then joined the band for the main event, a move which rapidly led to his emergence as a solo artist. It was a bold move without question, but it was one which makes the eight minute tracks on Wakin on a Pretty Daze less a surprise and more an inevitability. Few men would have the confidence to leave a band which was showing signs of great things to come, but then even fewer men craft 10 minute relaxed epics consisting of little more than simple chord progressions, laid-back vocals and tight, serene instrumentals. The jovial title track which opens the album and the pensive “Too Hard” characterise this approach beautifully, and demonstrate an uncanny ability to amble and wander without losing focus or allowing a song to outstay its welcome.

But then aren't all of these longer tracks cumbersome and over-bearing, I hear you ask? Well no, thankfully they’re not. As and when appropriate, Kurt Vile flexes his pop muscle and shows he can produce hook-laden, concise packages with relative ease. The combination of "Pure Pain" and "Snowflakes Are Dancing" not only serve to break up the longer moments but to add toe-tapping variety to the 70+ minute voyage which never feels its length.

Bubbling beneath the surface on many of the efforts here are subtle, unassuming psychedelic electronics which add both depth and layers. Although at times they harken back to the days of the 13th Floor Elevators and their influential debut album, they're much more reserved in their nature and feel more textured and dreamy than spaced out and immediate. What's more, rather than howling over the effects like the narcotised Roky Erickson, Vile instead complements them with his wistful drawl, resulting in truly blissful melodies.

Wakin on a Pretty Daze is a particularly self-assured release from a man who has never been short of confidence, and he fully embraces the power of simplicity and subtlety - something which continues to set Kurt Vile apart from his peers.



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user ratings (262)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
teddycutler1 (4)
Dig beneath Kurt Vile's lazy hazy exterior and there are myriad more complex joys on offer....

Jacob Royal STAFF (4.1)
A record that reads like a book penned from Vile's subconscious....


Comments:Add a Comment 
VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
April 12th 2013


1034 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Originally posted at: http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/

Surprised this didn't have a review up yet, top album.

SadAndHolyGlow
April 12th 2013


1532 Comments


This doesn't sound that interesting to me, but your review is awesome.

Digging: The Icicle Works - The Icicle Works

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
April 12th 2013


1034 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks man!

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
April 12th 2013


9065 Comments


Really glad you got this one

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2013


10362 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

I was considering reviewing this one, but it doesn't seem like my cup of tea. Nice work, Dan.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
April 12th 2013


23976 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

gotta jam

Digging: Marketa Irglova - Muna

Chrisjon89
April 12th 2013


3833 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

very keen on checking this out. good review

PunchforPunch
April 12th 2013


6280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweet

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
April 13th 2013


6506 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review man!

Album is utterly fantastic. Probably gonna bump soon.

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
April 13th 2013


1034 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks guys.

Hope one of the staffers takes it so it gets more coverage, can see it hitting some end of year lists.

Funeralopolis
April 13th 2013


11775 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it will

Digging: Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
April 13th 2013


10362 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

im actually pretty sure I'm going to cover it now, a very interesting album.

CrisStyles
April 13th 2013


769 Comments


Too Hard is one of the best songs I've heard so far this year.

newjunk2
April 13th 2013


232 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Finally this has a review. Best album of the year to this point I think.

robin
Emeritus
April 13th 2013


4259 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album rules so hard, very nice

bonus
April 13th 2013


47 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Definitely best of the year so far.
Couldn't come out at a better time of the year.
Fill the tank, open the windows, hit the road and hit play.

klap
Staff Reviewer
April 13th 2013


10545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3 | Sound Off

3.5 robin gtfo

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

Funeralopolis
April 13th 2013


11775 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I want to pos this review but the rating is too low : (

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
April 13th 2013


1034 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If its any consolation Funeral, it may one day grow to a 4.5.

BigSimo
April 13th 2013


164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

fantastic review. i definitely think this is a 4.5 album though (i'd give it a 4.7 or something if possible). perhaps that's because this is my first exposure to his stuff? idk



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