Vs. Children - Casiotone For The Painfully Alone

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Every song is steeped in melancholy, but the underlying beauty that ties it all together is in the courage of Ashworth's characters to face the unforgiving reality they occupy.
  2. Vs. Children is definitely the most accessible Casiotone release so far, and that's not at all a bad thing at this point in Owen Ashworth's career. [Spring 2009, p.70]
  3. It’s the Casiotone defence mechanism: take your innermost awkward lumps and bathe them in rose-tinted easy listening. Ashworth successfully translate this to his new instruments no fewer than nine or ten times on this eleven track set.
  4. His singing is of a piece with the music, at once clearer and more conventional than ever before and still touched with the reflective spoken-to-oneself melancholy that defines his work.
  5. Crucuially, though, he's lost none of his songwriting skill, with each song here perfectly capturing a mood of reflective melancholy. [May 2009, p.110]
  6. His craft here does have more to do with storytelling than it does with music making, but these haunting, desolate narratives are very much complemented by the lo-fi, repetitive, yet meditative backing tracks, which are ultimately presented like the lost soundtrack to a movie.
  7. Ashworth takes us on a joyride with a succession of mostly doomed outlaws and derelicts, with a couple of side excursions into familiar disaffected-slacker-ballad territory. It all adds up to easily the most mature and thematically ambitious Casiotone release to date.
  8. 60
    Cumulatively, the combination of Ashworth's sub-Bill Callahan levels of vocal animation and the mid-paced songs with tolling chord changes can err towards the enervating rather than the enigmatic, but funkier beats and mellotron give White Jetta a lift. [Jun 2009, p.96]
  9. Vs. Children is a pleasant but uncaptivating album, and I’m inclined to believe, especially when confronted by his album’s deliriously enchanting highlights, that Ashworth is spreading himself a little thin at his current pace.

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