Dan Mangan + Blacksmith - 'Club Meds'

7/10

Having been relatively quiet over the last few years, frontman Dan Mangan returns with his latest full-length 'Club Meds'. This time giving duel credit to his stalwart backing band Blacksmith, the Canadian singer-songwriter has looked to add emphasis to the instrumentation as well as his own transcendent lyrics, that highlights this new record's own diverse and eclectic approach.

Taking on the variety and experimentation of an early Beck, Mangan has brought us a record with such a wide range of influences and interests, it is almost impossible to pin down exactly where he plans it to go. The pace of the album jumps back and forth as he and his band deliver an ever-changing approach to production and direction that keeps the listener on their toes and unveiling an unending flow of surprises. While mainly held in a folk music setting, there is the odd touch of modern percussion arrangements and distorted vocals that gives the record a fresh appeal and ultimately keeps it interesting throughout.

While it may only have a few standout numbers that really catch your ear, the record as a whole holds itself together with expert skill. It moves and meanders with the grace of any Radiohead record and leaves you feeling fulfilled and hopeful of this man's talent.

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