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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mount Moriah - Mount Moriah (2011)


Band: Mount Moriah
Country: Durham, North Carolina
Style: Alternative Country
Label: Holidays For Quince

Jon, if you're reading this, I blame you for making me listen to this album. I'm not a big fan of country music, sure I've recently been listening to some folk music, but country isn't something I've listened to in years. The idea that Jenks Miller, of the mighty Horseback, is a member of this band only made the idea of actually checking this out all the more enticing.
If you're coming into this like I did, disliking any sort of country music that's been played on the radio, you might actually be surprised at how good this album is, like I was. I was shocked by not only how diverse this record was, you have violin/acoustic guitar led ballads, Old Gowns, more up-tempo poppy tracks like Social Wedding Rings and even some more somber and morose tracks like Plane. There are songs on here that literally gave me goosebumps with how emotional they felt, I was totally vibing off of them, Hail, Lightning. I've listened to this album quite a few times already, and really the only bad thing I can say about it is that if you put this on when you're tired, you will fall asleep, it's not the record you want to put on if you're trying to have a good time or party. I do feel it's important to say that this record is pretty short, it feels so full and does not overstay it's welcome in the slightest, sounding a lot more complete than albums twice as long as it.
The soothing, but catchy melodies of vocalist Heather McEntire are simply beautiful, and much better than any of these Starbucks lounge-pop singers. Her voice brings that tonal quality from country music without bringing the actual accent, absolutely beautiful. Her performance on here simply mesmerized me, definitely providing some of the best vocal melodies I've honestly heard all year. I am simply in awe of how great her voice is, as well as how she manages to convey a variety of emotions throughout these tracks, I love the gospel vibe on Lament. The variety in instrumentation also is worth mentioning, making use of acoustic and electric guitars, pedal steel, organ, and violins, simply fantastic. Jenks does a great job at keeping the vibe of traditional country sounds alive and well on here, but not making them cliched or boring in the least.
Like I said in the beginning, I'm not a fan of country music, but I liked this, a lot. Being completely serious here, this is one of the best records I've heard all year, fantastic album. Definitely check this out, no matter what you listen to, this comes highly recommended.
Overall Score: 9.5
Highlights: Every Track Is A Highlight

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