Pale and Precious
I am listening to Cabin Fever Songs, the new album from singer-songwriter Justin Kline and am having severely mixed feelings about the work. In his email request, Kline described the music as “lo-fi folk-pop recorded in my bedroom” and influenced by ”Leonard Cohen, Jellyfish, Elliott Smith, Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys”.
Thus, it’s no surprise to discover that Cabin Fever Songs is an album of acoustic songs and whilst that certainly suits certain tracks like “Nighttime Girl”, “Alison, I’m Here”, “Carol Lynn” and “Sunday Night Blues”, one might hope for little more textured and dynamic arrangements for some of the other tracks.
In that respect, for some of the tracks here, the recordings come across a little unfinished like “Resurrect with Me”, “I’m Not What You Need” and “Your Mystery” (for instance) – due to the lack of more varied, appropriate instrumentation. Although to be fair, the intent behind the album is as advertised i.e. “lo-fi folk-pop” and perhaps should be approached from that angle. Other than that, Kline does his folk-pop homework well enough with a vocal style that recalls Mike Love, Andy Sturmer and Chris Collingworth and rather decent tunes.
Just can’t escape that nagging feeling that the album is somewhat incomplete but maybe that’s just me nit-picking.