Thursday, 29 December 2011

10 Best Albums of 2011: #5

5. Hayes Carll, KMAG YOYO & other American Stories

Going on the title alone, one might presume Hayes Carll’s newest record to be a meditative and fairly patriotic collection of vignettes about the life of hardworking, well-meaning, blue-collar Americans – and you’d be partially right. But once you take a look at the album cover, and come to understand that its title track gets its name from a rather cheeky military acronym, it becomes quite clear that the Texas County singer-songwriter has something quite different up his sleeve. What’s most impressive about KMAG YOYO is not that it feels like one of the few records out there actually offering an accurate perception of the world today, but how consistently great – and frequently brilliant – its songs are. Carll has truly come into his own as both writer and performer, slipping between instant classics (“Grand Parade”, “The Letter”) and wry social commentary (“Hard Out Here”, the caustic duet “Another Like You”) with remarkable ease.









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