Dec 9, 2011Losing his religion doesn't mean he's lost his gift for indie rock songwriting, though, and fans who're willing to indulge Bazan's soul-searching will find Strange Negotiations similar to Pedro the Lion's catalog, with a familiar mix of minor-key starkness and lush, guitar-fueled rock songs.
May 16, 2011With Bazan's husky baritone, Strange Negotiations suggests an Americana vet like John Hiatt more than an indie lifer. But the change serves him well on "Eating Paper," which works simple wonders with a chunky guitar riff and a steady cowbell, just as the Lord intended.
May 24, 2011David Bazan has spent his entire career trying to connect his listeners to real life: the pain of loss, the confusion/wrestle/loss of faith, the shame of failure, the grueling task of being human, the arduous joy of love, and the profound hope that binds it all together.
Strange Negotiations finds Bazan no closer to any ultimate answers to these conundrums but rather resigned to the mystery and determined to call out the hypocrisy that props up oppressive systems even while identifying the same traits within himself.
Overall this album is an amalgamation of Bazan's styles - The pulsating fuzz of Control, The underlying spirit of fun on Achilles Heel, the deep questioning in Curse Your Branches and Winners Never Quit with the penetrating hope of It's Hard To Find A Friend. And there is more than enough synth to keep fans of Headphones listening.
For me personally, having had this album for a few weeks now, Strange Negotiations has surpassed Curse Your Branches and is in the realm of my favorite Bazan/Pedro album: It's Hard To Find A Friend.
One tip: Repeated listenings will reap many rewards.
My one criticism: At 40 minutes, this LP is a little on the short side for my tastes.
9/10 - Keep rocking, Dave!… Expand
Jun 23, 2011David Bazan has always walked the line of minimalism. There was a stripped down beauty to the old Pedro the Lion songs. There are sparks of what used to be here and there with Strange Negotiations but I feel like each new album he releases is further from capturing that simplified genius. What's left just puts me to sleep.… Collapse
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