His newfound knack for experimentation does take Deafman Stare into some uncharted territory, but as the classic shuffle of 22 Days attests, his tangential compositions wouldn't resonate as proficiently if they also didn't capture the majesty of his nimble performances.
His music is heavier and more complex than it used to be, the arrangements harsher and stranger. And then there’s his singing: Once a competent and breezy instrument, Walker’s voice has evolved into a throaty speak-sing that sounds depleted, as though it’s been scooped out of itself. These shifts give the record a deeper emotional resonance than anything else he’s put his name to.
Deafman Glance feels like attempting to recall a half-remembered dream while in the throws of a gentle hangover, making it one for lazy days and Sundays. Consequently, the spoils of these incorporeal meditations are misty and transitory, and while they may not dazzle, they do have a tranquil charm and unique character.
Brooding and complex, Deafman Glance isn't easy to grasp, but repeated listens get you through the sophisticated structures to appreciate some mid-blowing moments, out-there lyrics, and, on Telluride Speed, hard-won prettiness. [Jul 2018, p.118]