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Gabriel & The Hounds

Kiss Full of Teeth

(Ernest Jenning; US: 28 Feb 2012; UK: Import)

Kiss Full of Teeth is a beautiful, flawed album. There are moments throughout the record where I’m enraptured by the music, whether for its simplicity (the gorgeous piano coda “An Ending”) or its starry-eyed, lush arrangements (the string-laden conclusion of “When We Die in South America”). Gabriel Levine, who heads up a host of different musicians here, is a talented songwriter with a knack for skillful arrangements. There’s plenty to admire on Kiss Full of Teeth in the breadth of instrumentation and the talent of all of the musicians involved, but while one track may impress the next one will leave much to be desired. The Pete Yorn-esque “The World Unfolds” is one such track; the brief orchestral opening is underscored by the blase singer/songwriter rock that occupies the majority of the song. Given his talent, Gabriel Levine is a musician to keep a watch out for, even though Kiss Full of Teeth doesn’t quite do him justice. The album’s shining moments are worth hearing, but as a cohesive whole it doesn’t quite sink its teeth into the listener.

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Brice Ezell has written for PopMatters since 2011. He loves to write about music of any kind, literature, film, television, and philosophy. His writing also appears in Sea of Tranquility and Glide Magazine (formerly Hidden Track). His short story, "Belle de Jour," was published in 67 Press' inaugural publication The Salmagundi: An Anthology. You can follow his attempts at wit on Twitter and Tumblr if you're so inclined. He lives in Chicago.


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