Artist: Brown Shoe
Length: 12 tracks/ 58:06
Gentle, alt-rock melodies
and dreamlike vocals form the basis for Brown Shoe’s new release.
This is a record big on atmospherics – strong doses of melancholy and quiet
meditation predominate the wheat patch, and while many moments within
the record reach very close to being emotionally stirring, the wheat
patch doesn’t quite hit the emotional peak it strives for.
the wheat patch isn’t
without beauty, nor is the artist lacking in talent. Take the incredibly
pretty “Northern Lights” as a prime example, which slides together drifting
indie-rock and a loping, sweet melody over a stretch of some of the records
most impressive five minutes. Unfortunately, the wheat patch
becomes a bit too repetitive in later sections, and while its rainy-day
mood never fails to come across strongly, more singular, memorable songs
might have helped inject a more engaging feel to the record. As it
is, the wheat patch remains only partially interesting over its
hour-long length, and it could become difficult for listeners to stick
with it to the end.
While the wheat patch
attempts to grasp and pull the listeners’ heartstrings, the most heartbreaking
thing about the wheat patch is how close it comes to actually doing
so. This is a good effort, no doubt, and the wheat patch doesn’t
fail to show off the strengths of this dreamy indie-rock outfit.
But it also contains a couple weaknesses which detain it from being an
outright success. Brown Shoe, as we can tell in the record’s good
spots, is capable of something very good, and could still release a great
record in the future.
Jonathan Avants 7/23/06