Dakota Suite

The End of Trying

by Alan Brown

10 February 2009


Rarely does an album challenge you on an emotional level so that it becomes near impossible not to listen to the very end without pause. The End of Trying is one such record. Recorded in houses as far-flung as Yorkshire and Connecticut during a two-year period, Dakota Suite’s latest is a deeply personal and beguiling instrumental movement of minimalist melancholia. This time British songwriter/guitarist/pianist/composer Chris Hooson’s collaborators are Grammy-nominated cellist David Darling accompanied by two semi-regulars, David Buxton and Colin Dunkley, who take turns on piano.

When listening, you get the sense that there’s as much going on during the introspective pauses in the music as there is between the duet of free-falling piano chords and ethereal seesawing cello that wash around them. Hooson has never been one to shy away from his fragile state of mind, or the frustrations of supporting Everton FC, either in his chamber pieces or the brooding country folk he released on the German label Glitterhouse. With The End of Trying, he has created an uncommonly sublime movement of sonic contemplation—in turns deeply saddening and strangely uplifting.

cover art

Dakota Suite

The End of Trying

(Karaoke Kalk)
US: 9 Dec 2008
UK: 2 Feb 2009

The End of Trying



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 as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.


//Mixed media

Saul Williams Commands Attention at Summerstage (Photos + Video)

// Notes from the Road

"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.

READ the article