All Things Will UnwindAlbum |
Art-pop chanteuse's most direct work yet.
After a three-year hiatus -- during which singer/songwriter/sole permanent member Shara Worden collaborated with a number of other artists, moved back home to Michigan and had her first kid, among other pursuits -- My Brightest Diamond return with their finest album so far. Recorded in collaboration with the Brooklyn-based avant-chamber orchestra yMusic (Rufus Wainwright, Bon Iver), All Things Will Unwind formally breaks with the indie-rock flirtations of MBD's first two albums, featuring more spartan and unconventional arrangements as likely to involve clarinets and harmoniums as guitars and drums. Which is not to say that the album is particularly inaccessible; indeed, this is Worden's most direct and emotionally open record yet. It feels presciently of its moment in a political sense: several songs, most overtly "High Low Middle" and "There's A Rat," focus directly on the country's economic crisis, and would be a perfect soundtrack for the Occupy Wall Street rallies occurring around the country at the time of the album's release. Elsewhere, the playful love song "We Added It Up" and the haunting pump organ-driven lullaby "I Have Never Loved Someone" mark the poles of the album's emotional and stylistic range. Finally, Worden's vocals are better than ever, downplaying some of the operatically-trained singer's occasional tendencies toward over-ornamented phrasing on her earliest work.