Category: Minor Kingdom

Review: Minor Kingdom, Don’t Worry Baby

Music doesn’t necessarily have to strike you like lightning in order to work its way into your heart. The songs of Minor Kingdom will never inspire anyone to reckless abandon or lead to a mass outbreak of dancing in the streets. And that’s okay—that isn’t the point. Like Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, and Bon Iver before him, songwriter Kristian Melom is after a more introspective, unhurried and thoughtful kind of beauty. Don’t Worry Baby, his second album after 2009’s My Back Will Bend, is a carefully crafted set of slow, somber indie-folk ballads shot through with a tinge of mournful alt-country and grounded by Melom’s serious, pensive vocals—perhaps too grounded.

This is a record that needs a little time alone in order to win you over, working its mojo in the background during a quiet evening at home, curled up with a book. That intimacy is the album’s most charming element, but also its Achilles’ heel: Don’t Worry Baby is so soft-spoken and unprepossessing that it’s in danger of being overwhelmed like a spiderweb caught in a strong breeze, and the subtle qualities that are the album’s strengths are too easily drowned out. And there are plenty of delightful touches throughout Don’t Worry Baby, like the wash of shoegaze-y guitar that floats through “Sweet Emily,” the gossamer acoustic filigree in “Crazy Charlie,” and the wistful angelic chorus of “ooohs” on the album-closing “Good Luck.” But it’s a fine line between introspective and enervating, and a little more oomph would not have gone amiss here.

Originally published May 12, 2011 on Read the complete article.

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