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Stay Gold

First Aid Kit - 2014

     I was really hoping that First Aid Kit would take a big step forward on this album. Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Monsters Of Folk) was back as producer, and I figured now that they had a couple of years of experience under their belt, they might really put together something great. Their 2012 album “The Lion’s Roar” has two gems on it , (“Emmylou” and “The Lion’s Roar”), but otherwise it’s only a decent album. 

     My assessment of “decent" would be fine for most releases, but F.A.K. isn’t just any young duo. They have a gift. Female harmonies don’t often sound this perfectly melded together. They’re good on their own, but when they sign together there’s a unique energy that’s created. It’s a talent that will keep them in demand for years without a doubt. 
    So “Stay Gold” has been released, and it’s another decent album. There’s no track here that is as good as the two I mentioned from the last album, but “Cedar Lane” is quite good. It’s a more traditional country angle that I think they should explore a bit more. I’d love them to do a more stripped down country-folk album that’s more akin to Gillian Welch, than the glossy approach that they’ve employed on this album. The Honky Tonk vibe on “Heaven Knows” is just the wrong vibe for them. If I was the master of the universe I’d force them to record a whole album at Third Man Records for Jack White, because the Blue Series single that they did with him in 2011 is stellar. 
   Rather than link to a track from this album, I’m linking to a version of Bright Eyes’s “Lua” that they sang on earlier this year, because it's one of my alltime favorite songs, and this might now be my favorite version of it.

Posted by Tambe



This is a duo that I desperately wanted to like but they never got around to making that happen. Although I have not heard this album, I agree with you that their last album had two great songs but I disagree with your summation of the rest of the album as 'decent'. I think the better word would have been, 'crap'. The fact that there is not a single song on this new album that is equal in quality to the two stand outs of the last one means I will not be bothering with it. (Also, the fact that you didn't choose to share a link to one of their songs makes me wonder how generous you were with those three stars.)

Posted almost 5 years ago by MoiAndrew Scott

If you thought the rest of The Lion's Roar album was crap, then you don't need to check this album out in my opinion. You're right that I didn't like any songs on the album enough to link in this review. As for the stars, those middle star ratings are the ones that are the most malleable. I could have gone with 2.5 stars, but I like their vocal tone and the way the two voices meld together enough that it's worth the three stars.

Posted almost 5 years ago by TambegifTambe

Sounds like you were rating them as performers and not the album. If that's the criteria then every soulive album would get four stars and we both know that just isn't right.

Posted almost 5 years ago by MoiAndrew Scott

No, I'm speaking of their performance on this album. It's not that alone that gives it three stars, but it bumps it up. Again, I could be persuaded to go two and a half.

Posted almost 5 years ago by TambegifTambe

Posted: 11/22/2014

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