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Jeremy Messersmith

The Silver City

(Princess; US: 8 Sep 2008; UK: Available as import)

Minneapolis has become a nostalgia trip as of late. Husker Du is gone. Gary Louris lives in Spain, and the ultimate Twin City punk outfit, the Replacements, have been “beneficiaries” of the re-master treatment this year. Craig Finn has even released a cycle of records re-living the punk spirit of the ‘90s. There has been a lot of time reminiscing about the old days. So it is with little fanfare that singer songwriter Jeremy Messersmith releases his second full-length solo album,

. Filled with fully developed lyrical tales and whimsical arrangements, Messersmith forges ahead with a sound that could not be further from the roots that made his hometown a rock mecca.

Produced by local legend Dan Wilson of Trip Shakespeare fame, Messersmith has drawn from influences as diverse as the Beach Boys and the ‘Mats in a beautifully crafted album. He also has fallen victim, in lazier musical circles, to being considered a candidate in the search for the next Elliot Smith, despite only a fleeting likeness. Smith’s specialty was the conveyance of very real emotion but most of that emotion was emptiness. Messersmith’s collection of songs is a celebration.  Despite having an accomplished lyrical pen, he is unafraid to let the music lead. Some of the album’s finest points are when he does just that.

The album’s title is an homage to the Twin Cities, but the record follows the roads that lead out of city life and into the suburban. Few stones are left unturned as Messersmith demonstrates his excellent grasp of the way that both lyric and sound make long-lasting images. If Messersmith’s sophomore release is any indication, Minnesota’s music town has as much to look forward to as it has to celebrate about its past.


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