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The Punch Brothers - Who's Feeling Young Now?

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Former Nickel Creek singer/mandolinist Chris Thile is back with another Punch Brothers album; this one strikes me as their most emotionally direct and available yet, as well as their most musically infectious, but it's still very much an adventurous, complex, and forward-thinking work. Everything here is performed by the band in their usual all-acoustic setting-- Thile is joined by guitar, banjo, fiddle, and upright bass-- but there's nothing here that I'd classify as "bluegrass" or even "folk" music. There's rock, pop, and even some jazz inflections, though, plus some atmospheric modern classical works and some jaunty Tin Pan Alley numbers. There are also two songs with lyrics by Josh Ritter, and a spooky rendering of Radiohead's "Kid A." (But how else would you play that song, if not spooky?)

It's out on Valentine's Day, and I suspect a lot of folks here are, indeed, going to fall in love with it.

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[quote name='Josh Hurst' date='27 January 2012 - 03:55 PM' timestamp='1327697734' post='266070']
It's out on Valentine's Day, and I suspect a lot of folks here are, indeed, going to fall in love with it.
[/quote]

Don't know about everyone else, but I'm definitely in love with it. You're right, it's certainly not bluegrass, but whatever we callit, it's interesting and good. That opener really sets a great tone for the record. I'm always very interested in good openers and good closers and this is one if my favorite opening tracks in recent memory. Funny that I guessed the two songs Ritter wrote based solely on their titles.

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How much does this album appeal to the bluegrass/folk/roots/americana/jazz/blues/rock set who doesn't normally listen to bluegrass/folk/roots/americana/jazz/blues/rock? It sort of strikes me as the type of music that can be easily marketed to the NPR listening indie rock guy. Maybe it's because it's on Nonesuch? I don't know?

I ask, because I'm that demographic. And something about this album made me want to notice. And I really liked it. Alot. Maybe it was because it fused many different elements yet sounded like "bluegrass". If it was a straight bluegrass album it might have excluded people like me who don't know what I should be listening for. As it is, I felt like I could immediately enter the album's orbit and not really feel like an outsider. In that regards, this is a really inclusive album. I feel like it could grab fans from a variety of niche markets. All this to say, I'm really enjoying this thus far.

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