“b’lieve i’m goin down” – Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile

“b’lieve i’m goin down”

Matador Records

Kurt Vile released his sixth studio album, and it is a real gem. “b’lieve i’m goin down” hits all over the place, with catchy hooks, moody moments and an indie-rock sound that comes straight at you. The vocals are spot on and the guitar work is great.

Kurt is originally from the Philadelphia area and was a founding member of the popular indie-rock band “The War on Drugs” before leaving to devote his time to his solo work. He’s toured the world extensively and has received much critical acclaim with his last few releases. This one may be his best album to date.

“b’lieve i’m goin down” starts off with a catchy song called “Pretty Pimpin”. It revolves around the theme of Kurt being unable to recognize himself in the mirror and goes on to treat himself as a stranger. It has a steady, thumping beat and the guitar riffs really sound great.

His next tune, “I’m an Outlaw” has a great vibe with some interesting banjo work. It could be the theme to an old John Wayne movie, or maybe a more modern version of a story involving a lone man out on the road with no laws to answer to but his own. “I’m an outlaw on the brink of self-implosion, alone in a crowd; On the corner, in my Walkman, in a snowglobe; Going nowhere slow”

“Dust Bunnies” adds another layer to his sound with some keyboard bumping along to his open-chorded electric guitar strumming. Like the other songs, the music exists to support his ethereal vocals, but stands well on its own as well.

The album is pretty cohesive, while at the same time varies in feel from song to song. He has some pensive numbers on here, like the fingerpicking ballad, “That’s Life, tho (almost hate to say)”.  It’s a mellow number void of drums, but full of philosophical musings and beautiful guitar work. “I wanna run into the rolling hills along some mid-western highway; But there are scorpions out there…”

“b’lieve i’m goin down” really showcases Kurt Vile’s mastery. Not only does his musical talent and originality shine throughout, but his lyrics evoke deep thoughts and emotions, and his voice has a character of its own that will keep you coming back to this album again and again. It’s catchy, well-done, and worthy of a few listens for sure.

Tom Matthew, Two Ton Music