Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Top 10 Albums of 2007 - #4a: Earlimart - Mentor Tormentor

Alright, mea culpa, I forgot this one when I put my original list together, and I'm shoehorning them into roughly the spot they would have had if I hadn't been an idiot. Now that that's out of the way...

Earlimart returns with the third full-length of the Aaron Espinoza fronted era, and start to finish, it's their strongest outing to date. They've retained the knack for finding just the right ambient noise to back their stronger tracks, and even amplified by touring (briefly) with a string quartet. This is most notable on "Answers & Questions". They've moved away somewhat from the feedback heavy tracks like "Unintentional Tape Manipulations" and "Lost at Sea" from previous albums, and moved toward more piano and softer vocals, which suits not only Espinoza's ability, but Ariana Murray's, who contributes lead vocals on "Happy Alone", and shares them on "the World".

There's nothing here as sumblime as "Heaven Adores You" from the last album (though "Answers & Questions" is close), but the album is their most consistent to date. Every track is solid, and the pacing is excellent. No videos this time, but you can stream the whole album at their site.

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