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The Other

King Tuff 4/13/2018


In the lead-up to Kyle Thomas' fourth King Tuff LP, the songwriter/multi-instrumentalist found himself at home in L.A., run down from years of touring, and feeling more and more distanced from the good-time rock & roller persona he'd created. Thomas decided to reset in a few ways: He made an effort to write songs that he could play solo with just a guitar, he self-produced the tracks for the first time since his debut, and he recorded the songs in a newly assembled home studio. He also played many of the instruments himself, with the exception of drums (Ty Segall, Charles Moothart) and saxophones (Mikal Cronin). The only other guests on the album were his all-star backing vocalists Jenny Lewis, Kevin Morby, Greta Morgan, and Segall. Calling it The Other, his first album since 2014's Billboard 200-charting Black Moon Spell is still radiantly psychedelic and off the beaten path, but it's also conspicuously his most introspective to date. He sets the stage with the title track, a six-minute prologue he said is about "hitting rock bottom" and rediscovering inspiration. It opens with what sounds like a small, hand-rung bell, followed by solemn organ and acoustic guitar that act as an ostinato under Thomas' half-spoken narrative. The album then mushrooms, so to speak, into a lava lamp-inflected, saxophone-bolstered groove on "Raindrop Blue," a colorful love song with lyrics like "You dazzled me with destiny and magnetized my mouth." Expansive arrangements built on funky basslines, vintage keyboards, and vibrant textures pervade the rest of The Other, which continues in kind. It's a more thoughtful, philosophical King Tuff, for certain, but The Other is far from a downer, with Thomas' individuality and catchy pop sensibilities still intact. ~ Marcy Donelson
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 The Other King Tuff 6:9
  3. 2 Raindrop Blue King Tuff 4:36
  4. 3 Thru the Cracks King Tuff 3:36
  5. 4 Psycho Star King Tuff 4:39
  6. 5 Infinite Mile King Tuff 3:11
  7. 6 Birds of Paradise King Tuff 4:26
  8. 7 Circuits in the Sand King Tuff 2:59
  9. 8 Ultraviolet King Tuff 4:21
  10. 9 Neverending Sunshine King Tuff 3:38
  11. 10 No Man's Land King Tuff 5:52

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