Lambchop – Mr.M

After twenty odd years in the music business Lambchop return after a three year hiatus  with a new album that nearly didn’t happen. After the untimely death of his close friend and fellow musician, Vic Chesnutt, Kurt Wagner retreated to paint in a firm belief that he had no more music left in him. Thankfully for us, the fans, he found some inspiration to record again and the result is ‘Mr. M’ a fitting tribute to a lost friend and another sublime Lambchop record. The eleven tracks here range from classic Lambchop to instrumentals that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Claire Denis Tindersticks soundtrack. Kurt’s voice, not dissimilar to Chesnutt, floats over strings and flirts with a female vocal as it tries to lay bare the great questions set before us as a race, life and death, love and loss. Wagner’s stream of conciousness lyrics are pure poetry when coupled with the music and yet while being sombre also contain a strange lifting quality that stops this album from coming across as a complete downer. The subject matter here is nothing new, as artists of all kinds have for centuries tried to unravel the mysteries of the universe, but what sets Lambchop apart is their ability to turn a negative into a positive and still sound strong as a band going forwards into the unknown. If we have no more records from this fine band, I for one am just glad we have this one and I’m sure that somewhere Vic is too.

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