June 07, 2005

Anders Parker "The Wounded Astronaut"

Last year, Varnaline mastermind Anders Parker released his solo debut, Tell It To The Dust. The album proved slightly shocking; he successfully distanced himself from his Varnaline past, yet he never really distanced himself at all. It was a creative sleight-of-hand that impressed those who heard it. The Wounded Astronaut isn't so much a follow-up as it is a collection of outtakes from the sessions for his debut. The songs on The Wounded Astronaut are a bit harder; there's a bit more of a rock vibe to these songs, too. Parker still has that throaty, rough singing voice that's reminiscent of Jay Farrar, who not surprisingly also reappears here.

Still, The Wounded Astronaut contains some great songs. The mellow, psyched-out "Everyone Will Shine" is really haunting; "Fast and True" is quite catchy, and "Come Off" and "The Smile" are two songs that should have been on his debut, and though the title track and "I Found You" are lesser songs, they're still excellent. It says a bit about an artist when their outtakes and B-Sides are strong material, and The Wounded Astronaut is a nice companion to Parker's essential debut.

--Joseph Kyle

Artist Website: http://www.andersparker.com
Label Website: http://www.baryonrecords.com

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