proVISIONS

  • Record Label: Yep Roc
  • Release Date: Sep 2, 2008
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Although it dodges near-perfection almost deliberately, it confirms that Gelb’s maverick creativity has an astute methodology in its benevolent madness.
  2. An album that’s never dull, music that’s full of melodrama and humanity, a personality in Gelb that’s big enough yet genuine enough to pull it all together.
  3. 80
    Now, at 52, Gelb’s music seems to have found a renewed vigour, a sharper focus. ProVISIONS not only has some lean 'n' lovely boy-girl ballads, wild mood swings and a frequent groove, but also a sense of intent.
  4. Mojo
    80
    The cover of P.J. Harvey's 'The Desperate Kingdon Of Love' encapsulates the album--restful, intoxicating, sounding gorgeous. [Oct 2008, p.102]
  5. Though proVISIONS offers some playfully charming moments, ('Can Do,' 'Out There,' 'Increment of Love'), the dark center of this album’s middle is telling.
  6. Drowned In Sound
    80
  7. proVISIONS is no exception, its array of peyote rock, twilight ballads, space cowboy soundtracks, and spooky sidetracks off the beaten path on par with the band's best work.
  8. Under The Radar
    70
    His albums never fail to provide something immediately familiar, yet stubbornly unpredictable. Once again, Gelb lassoes you into his arid surrealist landscape, and you're left checking for dirt under your fingernails. [Fall 2008, p.81]
  9. 70
    ProVISIONS tells a less reassuring truth than "’Sno Angel Like You," but one that’s just as true; you just never know.
  10. An assortment of contributors both adds to the tension (Neko Case sings on the echoing 'Without A Word') and detracts from it (M. Ward only makes the trucker tune 'Can Do' even more of a non-fit on the record), but proVISIONS is an older Gelb at his gloomiest.
  11. Filter
    64
    Those of us disenchanted by genre specificity may give up on proVISIONS upon the line, "It was there in Galveston," and its accompanying played-out, imitive Western guitar line. [Fall 2008, p.97]
  12. Often hushed and challenging, his greatest device remains the tactical use of open space, delineated sharply by skeletal guitars and the loose insinuation of movement.
  13. 60
    Despite the album’s cornpone reflex and occasional meandering, guitar-diddling foray (“Muck Machine” should have been dragged to the trash folder), provisions has its Southern-fried charms.
  14. While some lack musical polish, the brilliant 'Spiral'--with its images of Americans hiding away with guns and in churches and heading towards heart attacks and extinction--furthers his metamorphosis into one of the country's great musical elder statesmen.
  15. Provisions is a haunting, alt-countryish record that’s not unlike the Silver Jews’ latest work.
  16. Q Magazine
    60
    If the closing tracks' chaotic guitars comes close to unlistenability, many fine moments beforehand make forgiveness easy. [Oct 2008, p.142]
  17. Howe’s duet with Neko Case on ‘Without A Word’ is the star of the show though, boasting a gorgeous melody that owes a lot to Gelb’s Tuscon roots.

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