Album Review

Rafter – “Music For Total Chickens ” – [Asthmatic Kitty Records]

cadilliac margarita   5/31/2007   A Library, CD

This is the second release from Rafter off Asthmatic Kitty Records, the same label that houses Sufjan Stevens. Vocally, Rafter reminds me of Sufjan, because they are both delicate and airy when they sing. This album is a study in contrast and contridiction featuring simple lyrics and at times chaotic and abstract musical arrangments. He has brought in more than 15 musicians playing a variety of instruments such as flute, violin, saxophone, and percussion. He uses a few female voices to layer the vocals, and even has one musician, Atlas Kaufmann, credited with ???cooing??? on track 11. As a photography enthusiast, the album cover art is quite interesting, and I think says a lot about the artist and his album. His vocals are very delicate like an egg, and the music just takes these soft vocals, and smashes them to bits. It is dreamy and nightmarish, calm and furious, encouraging and dream crushing, really. I found it a little abrassive at first, but the music grew on me. It is a strange journey filled with ups and downs, but all worthwhile in the end. You should actually consider yourself the opposite of a total chicken if you flow with the journey led here by Rafter.

-cadillac margarita

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