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« DIAMOND RINGS - Special Affections | Main | KELLEY STOLTZ - To Dreamers »
Monday
Oct252010

JIM GUTHRIE - Now, More Than Ever (Expanded Edition)

Where does the time go? Has it already been seven years since we last heard from Jim Guthrie? Of course, we haven't been completely devoid of his music. He collaborated with Nick Thorburn in Islands back in 2005, and then paired up again for Human Highway in 2007 (where his contributions really are worth hearing for any starved fans). There was also last year's excellent rarities compilation from his old band Royal City, and if you were really paying attention, you may have heard his distinct vocals and arrangements in the odd television commercial or movie soundtrack. However, the world has been waiting for another solo album proper, and though this isn't it, the expanded reissue of Now, More Than Ever still deserves our attention.

Born and raised in Guelph, ON, his first two full-lengths (1999's A Thousand Songs and 2002's Morning Noon Night, which followed a number of independent cassettes) were lo-fi pop done right. Using an interesting array of instruments (most notably an original Playstation console), Guthrie developed an utterly unique sound, one which he abandoned nearly altogether for his third album. Bringing in a band made up of fellow Royal City member Simon Osbourne, Evan Clarke (ex-Rockets Red Glare), multi-instrumentalist Mike Olsen and Owen Pallett (pre-Final Fantasy), Guthrie completely dropped his lo-fi electronic sound in favour of something far more lush. Pallett in particular shines throughouthis violin arrangements nearly steal the show, especially on the instrumental title track. Still, the lyrics are the real prize here; Guthrie is an expert at saying a lot by with a little. On opener "Problem With Solutions", he sings "the longer the hesitation, the smaller the celebration." Seven years on, those words still resonatedon't hesitate any longer, get this album now.

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