Monday, November 2, 2009

Molina and Johnson - Molina and Johnson

Two indie superstars (Magnolia Electric Co. and Songs:Ohia) join forces to prove the adage that the sum is greater than the individual parts. Both of these gentlemen have proven themselves to be superb songwriters, singers and makers of memorable albums. Most recently, Magnolia Electric Company’s Josephine has turned a lot of heads and ears towards Jason Molina’s skewed and specific view of American music. Molina & Johnson is a mixture of both of these artists’ strengths, presenting a slightly weirder setting for Molina’s touching songs and beautiful voice, and lightening up Johnson’s avant tendencies and more eccentric singing style. Musically things remain pretty spare and stripped down allowing plenty of room to reflect on the lyrical content and heartfelt performances. It is clear that these guys have a great deal of respect for each other’s work, precisely because they give each other so much sonic room, and embellish each other’s songs with such care and precision. There is no musical show-offery here, just two guys sharing their best and letting the tape roll. The result is a wonderful album of folky, artsy compositions that is sure to please fans of either of these talented men.

Paul Epstein

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