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Josh T. Pearson
The Last of the Country Gentlemen - Mute
FILTER Grade: 83%

By Breanna Murphy on March 29, 2011

 

Josh T. Pearson

“I’m off to save the world,” the sinner warbles on “Thou Art Loosed,” Josh T. Pearson’s solo debut opener, before the singer pulls a smooth, blasphemous U-turn and rights himself in the next offering, clarifying, “I ain’t your savior or your Christ/Or your goddamn sacrifice.” Meticulously constructed and orchestrated into an LP format that would make guitar-noodler James Blackshaw grin, the average track length of Country Gentlemen clocks in at eight-and-a-half minutes—so it’s not really “tunes” Pearson’s composing, so much as acoustic epics. A thematic spirit of New Testament morality (or, actually, a lack thereof) direct from Bible Belt pulpits plays front-and-center, not unlike Pearson’s short-lived past work with Denton, Texas’ Lift to Experience. On the string-trembling “Honeymoon Is Great, Wish She Were You,” the confessional box is an echo chamber and we’re locked inside with a desperate, guilt-ridden man with no gun to solve his problem. Gorgeous as much as it is terrifyingly heartbreaking, it’s Country Gentlemen’s ominous open-ended silence that unnerves most of all.

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