Round Mountain

Windward

by Matthew Fiander

18 October 2009

 
cover art

Round Mountain

Windward

(Red Shield)
US: 20 Oct 2009
UK: 20 Oct 2009

Considering how members Char and Robby Rothschild have moved around, doing things like studying djembe in Mali or touring internationally as part of various groups, it’s no real surprise they take sounds from all over the world on Windward. Opener “Don’t Lie Down” thumps with African drums and pulses with bagpipes, and the two come together to make a serene, beautiful sound. All throughout the record disparate influences converge, and Char and Robby handle it all with tight musicianship. Even when the pair strips it down on a song like “In Us All”, each moment is filled subtly with layers of guitar and banjo.

In fact, it’s almost too beautiful. Sure, this seems like an unreasonable complaint, but for an album that tries to be tied so closely to distant family and the lonesome road, musicianship always seems to override any feeling. Their voices are pitch-perfect but indistinct. All the roots they combine wisely aren’t strengthened in combination but mashed together shapelessly under a bright polish. These guys clearly understand music and pay decent homage to the roots they love. But Windward can’t seem to stand up on its own merit.

Windward

Rating:

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.


//comments
//Mixed media

//Blogs

"No Dollars in Duende": On Making Uncompromising, Spirited Music

// Sound Affects

"On the elusive yet clearly existential sadness that adds layers and textures to music.

READ the article