Music Review | posted 04.04.2012
Willis Earl Beal
Acousmatic Sorcery
XL Recordings, 2012
Text Björn Bischoff , Translation Julia Frohn
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Editorial
Cover Willis Earl Beal - Acousmatic Sorcery

Music can’t and doesn’t always have to please everyone. There’s hardly anyone, who knows that better than Willis Earl Beal. On his homepage, there’s a phone number, and whoever rings it gets a song sung for him. Simple pencil-drawings embellish his videos and covers. All this romance belonging to a naive songwriter in Chicago, who only fiddles a bit with his guitar and who ‘just wants to evolve’ – it’s all a load of crap and just doesn’t fit »Acousmatic Sorcery«, his debut. Because with his rancid production style, Beal tends to tear deep wounds into his songs. The guitar in »Take Me Away« roars like an old tractor, while Beal demonstrates how much he admires Tom Waits. Hence, there’s no actual label to be put on the sound: Blues, Soul, Pop and Gospel are somewhat in the realm of »Acousmatic Sorcery«, but Beal pulls out his very own ideas from underneath and dresses them all in such dreadful LoFi-aesthetics that it can be just damn wearisome at times. »Bright Copper Noon« drills itself through one’s ear with its high pitched melody, while »Evening« comes along so honestly that butter wouldn’t melt. Still, what the record lacks is some source of friction. Many songs just remain a shadowy sketch, but could actually get damn good if some color was added (it could also get more wearisome). However, until then, »Acousmatic Sorcery« remains a promise – even though we can be sure that it will soon be fulfilled.

You can soon find »Acousmatic Sorcery« by Willis Earl Beal at hhv.de.
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