Jason Molina’s Songs:Ohia project remains one of my favourite slices of skewed Americana in recent years. Magnolia Electric Company, another of his musical endeavours, has previously been a heavier affair, but as Matt pointed out in his post on the album, their latest record, Josephine, is a softer effort.

It’s a record with a unified character, which is another way of saying it is, from time to time, a little samey. The songs are largely piano-led ballads, countrified and Gram Parsonsish and speaking of loss, places of American myth, and reflection. The repetition of lines and structures is part of the project, though – this is less a repetitive album as one with a strong centre of gravity.

Josephine is recursive throughout, and moods and refrains bob up to the album’s surface repeatedly . Like Richmond Fontaine, then, MEC have wrought a record which rewards relistens. At first, the repetition seems bloodless; over time, it proves more evocative. Stand-out tracks exist – ‘O Grace’, ‘Josephine’, ‘Little Sad Eyes’ – but they are sunk deep within their context. Gorgeous sounding and tenderly performed, Josephine is no singles album, but it’s a beautifully constructed work.


3 thoughts on “Josephine

  1. catho says:

    Hey there Dan

    I thought you might know a bit about Jason Molina. I’ve been trying to find some of his music in the stores for a while and haven’t been able to find it. I’ve been trying to find a beautiful song of his by the name of ‘coxcomb red’. do you know which album this songs on?


  2. Pingback: Albums of 2009 « @Number 71

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