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October 25, 2014
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Review: Sloppy indie album lacks focus

"Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son"

Damien Jurado

Damien Jurado’s latest album, “Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son,” displays substandard vocals that are mainly covered up by the awkward and humdrum sounds of synthesized beats, percussion and guitar. Though the instrumentation could sound satisfactory, the chaotic beats make the songs even more challenging to listen to.

The worst track of the album, “Songs On Our Mind,” begins with quiet, drawn-out organ chords and shoddy vocals, then picks up with messy percussion and keyboard. Toward the end, Jurado’s vocals fade out and unorganized percussion with random chatter and yells play on before the song concludes with the lighthearted but half-witted chorus.

Though there are 18 tracks on the deluxe edition of the album, there are only 12 originals, as some of the songs are repeated as duets with the band Sisters of the Eternal Son — hence the album’s title “Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son.” A few of these duets, along with four solo songs, almost save the album from its dreadfully disorganized composition.

“Return To Maraqopa” is one of the duets that that gives strength and positivity to the record. Jurado’s drawn-out vocals help set the despondent and heartbroken tone of the track. In order to maintain the song’s emotional grip, a restrained acoustic guitar solo and a women’s choir of echoing “ooo”s accompany the lethargic vocals and sorrowful lyrics.

The album’s connection to the audience is sadly ignored throughout “Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son,” evident in its cluttered sounds and awkward beats. Jurado should have spent more time on the production of this album. Though he has had more than 10 years of industry experience, Jurado does not demonstrate it.