Solidly recorded, exquisitely lyrical folk music from Jeff Mangum, produced in Denver by Robert Schneider (of the Apples in Stereo). Although Jeff still writes all the songs, the arrangements here have more of a band feel than his previous full-length, On Avery Island. The central guitar/vocal axis is hung at various points with organ, singing saw, flugelhorn, bowed banjo, and a whole stable of other instrumental esoteria. Jeff does a good job mixing pretty melodies with his own distinctive vocabulary. It's not every songwriter who will get you singing "semen stains the mountaintops" as you walk down the street. (Merge, PO Box 1235, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

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