January 25, 2007

Califone's Roots & Crowns

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Music fans everywhere should be thankful for the existence of Califone’s most public figure, Tim Rutilli. As the years pass with perfectly catchy bands that get lucky with one-hit wonders and then fade into oblivion, disappearing from the music scene entirely or releasing total crap after a stunning debut, we can always count our man Rutilli to keep making beautiful music.

A veteran of the scene, and former founding member of Red Red Meat, Rutilli and his new band’s most recent album, Roots and Crowns, recalls an acoustic purity reminiscent of Beck and the personal, mostly melancholy growl of Broken Social Scene. The album’s thirteen songs are all noteworthy — if not completely accessible for any listening mood, at least musically interesting in the huge range of instruments Califone’s four members employ: guitars, bass, and drums, sure, but also string sections, finger pianos, and hauntingly sweet vocal arrangements.