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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Nixon

Lambchop

2000

Buy At Rough Trade
Nixon
Album Summary

Nixon is the fifth studio album by American rock band Lambchop. It was released on February 7, 2000 and was issued by Merge Records and City Slang. Nixon became a breakthrough release for Lambchop in the United Kingdom, where it received critical acclaim and was named among the best albums of 2000 by numerous publications.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.81

Votes

9527
Genres
Country
Pop

Reviews

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Mon Jul 12 2021
2

Nixon is a wildly uneven album, oscillating between gentle country inflected pop and ill advised forays into Philly soul, but that doesn't even begin to describe how strange it is. On the country inflected pop songs, singer Kurt Wagner sounds a lot like Dean Wareham from Luna, who in turn took his cues from Lou Reed. He can be modestly effective in this mode, as in the opener, The Old Gold Shoe. But his falsetto, as on You Masculine You, is to die for, meaning it makes you want to die. And when he launches into a curdled attempt at Philly soul, as in What Else Could It Be?, I imagine flocks of birds dying in mid-air and plummeting to the ground like so many hailstones as an appropriate response. Then there are the arrangements. They are painstakingly worked out and quite involved, featuring a conventional core band, strings, horns, vibraphone, touches of atmospheric distortion, even a full on choir, but rarely has so much effort resulted in so little reward. Most of the way through Nixon, the arrangements and performances are quite gentle and the music tends to glide through one ear and out the other, leaving no trace. But at times, Lambchop allows a bit of distortion or some grungy guitar to bleed through, adding some much needed edge. It's hard to know what to make of all this. Clearly, Lambchop is capable of making listenable music. If they had spun out variations on pop numbers with a veneer of country, tempered by some grunge guitar and distortion, they might have come up with a modest, low key success. As it is, whatever is modestly effective is overshadowed by horrific, cringe-worthy attempts at Philly soul.

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Mon May 31 2021
4

Very pretty chamber pop with a bit of a country feel to it. Beautiful orchestral arrangements. Feels like it falls somewhere between Neil Young and Neil Diamond. If there isn't a guy named Neil in the band I will be thoroughly disappointed.

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Fri Sep 10 2021
2

I get excited when I see a short album with only 10 songs. But each song averaging around 5:30min kills that excitement almost immediately. So far every song sounds like it could be used as an intro song in a Netflix/Amazon Prime/HBO Max/AppleTV Drama Series Honestly, very boring

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Sat May 22 2021
2

I really wanted to like this album more, but it was just missing any real musical depth. The instrumentals felt the same from beginning to end, and they weren't memorable enough for that to be a good thing.

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Thu Nov 25 2021
2

It's an album. Apparently I listened to most of it but I'm not really sure when that took place. Nothing stood out and I wouldn't go back to it.

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Thu Jan 06 2022
1

A real struggle to get through, I found it monotonous, mundane. Although I think that's maybe the intention in an odd way. I get why people would like it but it does nothing for me.

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Fri Aug 25 2023
3

Speaking of disgraced former presidents, Donald Trump got arrested in Georgia today. In other news, this album made me a little bit sleepy. More at 11.

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Mon May 17 2021
2

Musically, it sounds okay. My main issue with this album is that I have read all the lyrics and listened multiple times and I have no idea what the album is about. The lyrics are nonsensical and the vocals are murky. Too many metaphors. Definitely not a "fun" album. I can't think of any song I like on the album, but it is good enough to put in the background I guess. It doesn't actively annoy me is I treat the vocals as sounds rather than words.

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Wed Jun 02 2021
2

What is this doing on the list? Bland and boring. Meh.

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Wed Jun 09 2021
2

If Tom Waites, Leonard Cohen, and Smokey Robinson had a baby.

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Fri Nov 12 2021
2

I don't get it. The arrangements are elaborate enough and the band (backed by a small orchestra it would seem) played them them perfectly. The production is slick and polished. The vocals are full of nicotine soaked rasp. The lyrics are dense and feel like short stories or letters read outloud. But the music just lacks anything to connect to. Each song just sort of lilts into the next. The emotional register of each song is perfectly uniform, bordering on monotone. Funny enough, "What Else Could It Be?" is like the one song I felt something with, and it's the one where the vocalist is singing in a screeching falsetto that seems two modulations higher than the vocalist dares belong. Yet, it kinda worked for me. So, what am I missing? Why is this album on the list?

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Fri Jul 30 2021
2

Modern easy listening. Pretty bland, Petrified Florist is the best track but it's not enough that I'd listen again.

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Mon Aug 02 2021
2

A strange combination of country and soul, lush orchestration, impenetrable lyrics and Kurt Wagners irritating singing voice (especially that falsetto). The album is well produced and carefully arranged but the overall result is just not all that memorable.

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Mon Aug 02 2021
2

So boring and generally rough vocals throughout. 4

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Wed Nov 24 2021
2

Wikipedia lists the genre of this album as "Countrypolitan," which is a cursed word that should not exist. After listening to this guy's falsetto, the jury is out on the band itself as well. Best track: Up with People

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Sun Nov 28 2021
2

SHACK. I want to give it 5 stars for the lamby goodness, but I just can't.

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Tue Jun 01 2021
1

I don't get the "universal acclaim" for this album. Maybe I'm not sophisticated enough?

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Thu May 27 2021
5

I was not expecting to absolutely love this. But I do, and I’m very pleased about it

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Sat Jun 12 2021
4

I don’t really know what I just listened to and I’m not even mad about it

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Sun Nov 28 2021
3

@SHACK, @SHACK, @SHACK, @SHACK, @SHACK, @SHACK, @SHACK, @SHACK, @SHACK. SHACK LOVES LAMBCHOPS.

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Sun Nov 28 2021
3

Q. What does SHACK eat for breakfast? A. Lamb chops.

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Fri Sep 09 2022
3

I think this is the first artist and album that I was completely unaware of! I love the album art, but admittedly did not listen to much of this album. This doesnt seem to fit the format of "1001 albums to hear before you die" or any sort of album a day thing, because the songs are deceptively complex despite being so soft and simple sounding on first listen. I feel like the songs may be rewarding enough on repeat listens to warrant the high praise the album obviously received, but listening to it once it's frankly too hard to tell. It makes me wish this site had a "listened but cannot rate" option, I would choose that, otherwise I'll go in the middle of the road with three stars, and I will probably revisit again later

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Sun Dec 03 2023
3

Didn't know this existed. It would be fine background music while working in the kitchen, but for some reason they have Miss Piggy as a guest singer on some of the tracks. Might revisit but for now moving on.

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Wed Aug 03 2022
1

Calling this alt-country is like calling Metallica alt-disco, which is no comment on the music, just the inanity of the genre designation. As for my comment on the music: too limp and too slight. There are definitely some nostalgic reflexes in here, but I'm not sure what era they're harking back to and I'm not sure Wagner is either.

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Wed Sep 27 2023
1

THIS is what happens when someone decides to make music for reasons other than to get laid, you get a bland, nonsensical, auditory circle jerk of comatose mumble singing and the only 10-piece band in history that DIDN'T disturb their neighbors. Get your priorities straight, and maybe your songs will sound better.

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Thu Sep 23 2021
5

22nd September 2021 Listened on my phone on the way out to an early birthday dinner with jen at an incredible Italian restaurant. I had heard of lambchop through Andy but hadn't properly listen to them and assumed they were super heavy but I didn't think they'd be this relaxing indie mellow band. Loved it.

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Thu Dec 02 2021
5

A sweet surprise. A candid voice singing delicious songs. Loved the guitar tune and chorus. I am adding some of these songs to my personal playlists now!

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Thu Dec 16 2021
5

I have never heard of Lambchop, but the album cover for NIXON made me very happy, so I was excited to put this record on. Turns out the cover is a great representation for what's inside. Quirky, inscrutable, but so pleasant. I loved the orchestral easy listening sound and the lyrics - even though I often had no idea what they meant. Felt like what Burt Bacharach might compose if he were really, really stoned. Highlights: "The Old Gold Shoe" - who starts an album like this? I appreciate the confidence of making such a laid back track the opener. "Grumpus" is one of my favorites on the album. I really wanted to be drinking a pink squirrel in a dark lounge while this was playing. SOOO nice! "Be square and kind to all your friends Stop staring through the bitter lens." This song has advice I can use. "You Masculine You" made me laugh immediately as the title juxtaposes with the falsetto delivery. But it is oh so lovely. "Up With People" felt like... an Up With People concert? The clapping, the backing choir, the happy music... uplifting! "Nashville Parent" had me floating on a very strange cloud where I observed neighbors fighting, owls decapitating rodents, spit on my chest, and a fiberglass funny face on the wall. I love being made so comfortable and happy while having no idea what is going on. "What Else Could It Be?" could be the easy listening version of a Bee Gees song with its lush violins and falsetto performance. I loved the ending. "The Distance From Her To There" had a real country feel that I loved. The steel guitar, the vibraphone - oh yes! "The Book I Haven't Read" is a lovely love song - the only one I can think of with the word 'disgusting' in it. I wish it were written for me. "The Petrified Florist" with its clever title is one of the darker songs on the album... definitely sensed some tension here. "The Butcher Boy" followed up with a really dark story. Because it seemed to make perfect sense I wondered if my brain had been reprogrammed ... then I had a look at the credits on Wikipedia and realized that this was an old traditional American folk song. The Apple Music credits show the writer as Lambchop since they did take liberties with the traditional song. Really unique take on this. NIXON's inscrutability doesn't bother me because the music is so nice and the singer so approachable - kind of a cross between Cat Stevens and Barry Gibb. The lyrics often felt like another instrument to me - when they didn't make sense I was satisfied with the sounds they made and the feelings they evoked. NIXON is a strange, wonderful place where I feel warm, welcome and comfortable that I will revisit often.

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Fri Feb 25 2022
5

Immediately infectious! I can't believe I never heard of them. Loved it!

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Fri Feb 25 2022
5

What a find! I have never heard this band before but I loved listening to this!

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Sun Mar 06 2022
5

beautiful western, classical, alt-rock album - 10/10 his vocal range is also really impressive

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Mon Mar 14 2022
5

Ok I've had this saved for a couple of weeks. I can't categorise it, but why should I? Get Richard Hawley vibes one day, Jarvis Cocker the next. Ok, it's not an platinum best seller classic, but I REALLY like this.

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Thu May 05 2022
5

Easy listening, interesting and fun!

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Fri May 27 2022
5

Wow, never ad erd of thees before. It is very nice.

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Thu Jul 14 2022
5

Have never heard of this band before. Really enjoyed this album. Thought the instrumentation, arrangements, and lyrics were all compelling and unique. I admire the blending of different popular styles to create something new and fun to listen to. This album has a great blend of easier listening tunes and ones you need to focus on. It reminded me of other indie bands like maybe Wilco, especially the lead’s soft, slightly acerbic voice and observational lyrics. I will totally recommend this album to others now that I know it.

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Thu Feb 02 2023
5

Wow I listened to this literally two days before it came up on the shuffle. Lambchop are absolutely an unclassifiable band, alt-soul, new country, whatever. But the songs are brilliant all the way through, Wagner's voice a dolourous delight and the arrangements stately. Is it a five? Yes probably.

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Fri Aug 18 2023
5

That was beautiful and Interesting. Up with People fit the vibe so well.

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Wed Oct 04 2023
5

Beautiful music. Very unique

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Wed Oct 04 2023
5

This is an incredible album, and I can't believe I had never heard of this band before. They have a unique sound that sometimes borders on orchestral, and I like the stream-of-consciousness lyrics in the songs. Just an all-around good, groovy sound to them. Normally I list tracks I like off these albums but I'm just going to say all of them for this one.

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Thu Oct 12 2023
5

Fantastic. Turned me on to the band as a whole.

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Mon Nov 06 2023
5

Perfect Sunday morning listening. Chill but interesting. Didn't feel like skipping a single song and listened to the album twice in the same day.

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Thu Dec 21 2023
5

I have always loved this album, and I will go years and years without thinking about it or listening to it. And it's been a while, so I was pleasantly surprised when it popped up. I'm also a bit surprised that this album is on the list, but reading it's wiki page it sounds like it was very well received particularly in the UK and appeared on a lot of year end best of lists from UK pubications, so that tracks. This album is just gorgeous and I love the way it meanders and snakes through. Up With People is one of my all time favorite songs, and it always feels like a nice rediscovery when it pops up because it is so often out of sight and out of mind. Great record all around.

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Thu Jan 18 2024
5

Richard Nixon is not known for being a soulful kind of person. Spiteful, paranoid, tricky and evil definitely. But not soulful. So Lambchop's breakthrough album named after him, but not entirely dealing with the idea of him, is a brilliant contradiction of things. You become swept away by Lambchop's ability to weave elements of country, rock, soul and classical into a effortless blend that borders on perfection. From The Old Gold Shoe onwards, Nixon swoons and sways in a way that brings, however improbably, a good shine on the name for a short period of time. Also, the How I Met Cat Power version of the songs on here is just as stellar and offers the songs new perspectives.

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Wed Feb 21 2024
5

very soothing and relaxing. Voice is great, instruments blends really well together

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Wed Feb 28 2024
5

Saved the entire album to my library after only hearing to the halfway mark of the first song. I usually need to listen through multiple times. I’m highly selective of what makes it in there. If asking why..I have no answer for that. The feeling induced by Nixon by Lambchop is ineffable. Which is how art should be I guess. One of my faults is the need to explain everything too much. For a person with many words this album left me speechless.

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Wed May 12 2021
4

Interesting album. Gets a bit repetitive later on, and the last song is questionable as fuck, but overall very interesting. Closer to a 3.7 maybe.

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Mon May 24 2021
4

Listened to this whole album while playing Snowrunner, and it's a very good match for the vibe. 4/5

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Thu May 27 2021
4

A really beautiful album. Like a warm hug. Lyrical, melodic.

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Wed Jun 09 2021
4

At first I didn't like it too much, but as the album progressed it got more alike songs I would listen to, so overall I enjoyed it

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Wed Jun 23 2021
4

A great story telling album. Each piece is connected to the next and the ones after. The lyrics in this album are the main aspect to be listening for, but the backing track cannot be ignored either. It portrays the emotion it wants to nearly perfectly. My only gripe is that the falsetto the singer does isn't that great. Favorite track: Nashville Parent

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Mon Jul 26 2021
4

Slick grand and well structured indie rock. I am surprised how much I enjoyed this album. Instantly reels you in.

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Sun Oct 10 2021
4

Great turn-of-the-millenium rock album, reminds me of The National

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Thu Nov 04 2021
4

Er zit vast meer achter maar de muziek is aardig. Ik ga er nog eens naar luisteren

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Wed Dec 01 2021
4

This sounded amazing… heard a lot of chatter about this album in the early noughties; never explored. I will now.

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Thu Dec 16 2021
4

I do enjoy the soothing sound of this music. It feels like maybe it was recorded in 1969, but then it has a few humorously startling phrases to break that spell (e.g. "And decapitate a rodent or a mouse.") The song titles are all delightful. I love the full instrumentation. Vibraphone! On first listening, this music sometimes slipped into the background. Giving it a more focused listen, I really appreciated it. My list of favorite songs keeps getting longer. I will thus single out "Nashville Parent" as a song that has everything I love about this album.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
4

mjög nice og kosy plata, minnir mig á destroyer, virkar líklega mjög vel við alls konar tilefni, dinner, chilla, lesa, læra, whatever basically. bara allt í allt geðveikt nice plata, er að hlusta á The Book I Havent Read á meðan ég skrifa þetta, sjúklega þægilegt lag. ég er eiginlega korter í 5 stjörnurnar, ég ákveð það á morgun þegar ég má loksins gefa rating. þetta generator dót er veisla maður

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Thu Feb 03 2022
4

Pretty good! I like the instrumentals a lot. Vary much soul /folk rock. Relaxing!

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Wed Feb 09 2022
4

Wagner's voice is like salted caramel chocolate. It shouldn't work but it does. Likewise, Nixon feels too mature an album to be a genuine breakthrough hit, but here we are...

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Mon Mar 14 2022
4

Interesting, would watch at a festival

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Mon Mar 21 2022
4

Not what I was expecting from a band called lambchop but it was solid chill music

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Fri Mar 25 2022
4

Hadn't heard this in over 20 years. I find myself rather better disposed towards it now somehow. "Grumpus" and "Up With People" are still my favourite tracks from it, but now we can also add "The Petrified Forest" which I'd entirely forgotten (how *could* I have forgotten that wild flanging?). Really not a fan of Kurt's falsetto, though...

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Fri May 06 2022
4

There was something gripping about this record. I liked the slow pace of the music & rich arrangements. Highlight: Butcher Boy

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Thu Jun 09 2022
4

Very chill, and nice voice, will listen to it some more

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Thu Jul 21 2022
4

very good. Quirky. I enjoyed it a lot!

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Thu Sep 08 2022
4

Can't believe I've never heard of Lambchop. This album is lush and layered and an aural feast

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Thu Sep 08 2022
4

A special and unforgettable voice

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Mon Sep 19 2022
4

Alternative countrychamber pop

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Fri Oct 28 2022
4

Of course I love this. It's so rich and tasty. Super soulful, full of flavour. No idea what Kurt Wagner's on about, bit that just adds to the mystery.

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Wed Nov 02 2022
4

This was a beautiful sounding album, the arrangement was gorgeous but the vocals on some tracks lets it down a but

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Sun Nov 06 2022
4

What a pleasant surprise! Judging by the band name and the track titles, I thought these would be gag songs. Not adult, contemporary pop rock with a twinge of country, a bit of R&B and some moody atmospheres - à la Matchbox 20 or Vertical Horizon in their senior years and in a parallel universe. Makes for superb easy listening on a Sunday morning, although it gets a bit weird at the end. Favorite tracks are Grumpus & You Masculine You.

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Thu Dec 08 2022
4

Favourite song: Nashville Parent

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Thu Jan 12 2023
4

Bloody loved this and will explore the band more. Delicate chamber pop rock with invention. Great stuff.

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Fri Jan 20 2023
4

Cool folky rock album, I'm surprised I haven't heard it before. Kinda like a cross between country wilco and a less experimental radiohead. I'm not surprised that Up with People is the band's biggest song on streaming services by a long shot. It's super anthemic and fun, but definitely not my favorite song (that would probably be track 1). I have a feeling this band is probably popular with the older, mid thirties-ish, ex-blog-hipster crowd, so it's cool it was put in front of me off of this list.

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Sun Jan 22 2023
4

Lots to love about this album but the jury is still out on his vocals.

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Mon Jan 23 2023
4

Discoveries like this are the reason I am trying to work my way through the 1000 list...expose myself to different and unknown music for myself that is interesting. I wouldn't say I love this album but it was different, complicated and fascinating. Realllly liked the Petrified Forest track.

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Mon Jan 30 2023
4

Another great find. I am excited to look into more Lambchop

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Mon Feb 06 2023
4

I’d never heard of Lambchop before today so didn’t have any preconceptions. I’m a vegetarian though so if manes sense that I hadn’t consumed their music before. Songs I already knew: none Favourites: You Masculine You, Up With People This was a perfect album to listen to on a Sunday morning. It was nice relaxing music and helped me to recover from a hangover. Musically, Lambchop remind me a little if Eels which is a big positive for me. The singing was very unique at times, going from a gritty tenor into sudden falsetto. It can be a little jarring at first, but after a couple of songs I’d fallen quite in love with his voice. This was a very good find, and I’m happy to have discovered it, even if I was 23 years too late.

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Thu Feb 16 2023
4

Cette voix, ces orchestrations... Peu de chansons vraiment marquantes, mais un ensemble très harmonieux, enveloppant. Et beau.

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Mon Feb 20 2023
4

I had never heard of Lambchop, and don't know what I expected from this album. And, I won't lie, I wasn't laser-focused on the album for the entire running time. But what I heard, I liked a lot more than I expected to. Alt-country with chamber pop influences. Very well-written melodies. An overall "throwback" sound. I will definitely be giving this one another listen.

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Fri Feb 24 2023
4

Good, I enjoyed it a lot. The instrumentation was really nice.

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Fri Feb 24 2023
4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: The old gold shoe, Up with people

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Sun Mar 12 2023
4

This was a truly lovely record to listen to. Beautiful, wistful and melodic indie music. I adored it.

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Wed Mar 22 2023
4

Probably my favorite of Lambchop's many records. Sweeping, cinematic country.

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Fri Apr 07 2023
4

This was cool and inventive and interesting

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Sun Apr 30 2023
4

Very steady, satisfying indie album. A few familiar tracks, a nice consistent ryhthm. Interesting enough but not era defining or anything. Simple, understated, hits the right spots without overexerting.

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