Damien Jurado – Caught In The Trees

September 22, 2008

Since Damien Jurado officially became a band (featuring Jurado, Eric Fisher and Jenna Conrad), rather than just the name of a singer/songwriter, Jurado’s songs have developed a fuller sound, as opposed to his more spare recordings of the past, which often involved just his guitar and his voice, a powerful instrument in itself and one of the most unique and evocative in indie rock. Jurado is mostly known for unhurried folk, blues and alt-country inspired compositions, lyrically often stark in its portrayals of modern American life and relationships. Caught In The Trees continues on in that tradition, though on a few tracks, Jurado kicks up a few notches, and rocks out a bit. It’s a good mix of Jurado playing to his strengths, while effectively continuing to expand his sound in different directions. Jurado, Fisher and Conrad are clearly an inspired musical team, it’s worth noting Conrad’s often extraordinarily beautiful vocals. This is Jurado’s best and most fully realized work since 2000’s Ghost Of David, still my favorite Jurado release. Standout cuts: “Gillian Was A Horse,” “Trials,” “Last Rights” and “Predictive Living.”



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