King is a guitar virtuoso whose genre of choice — indie-rock — forces her into an odd middle-ground between dexterous displays of technique and thorny evocations of self-doubt with titles like "Everything Has An End Even Sadness." Her fifth disc is her most songful, suggesting the tense alt-pop of Tegan & Sara by way of Bill Frisell and Leo Kottke. "Death Head" has real punk drive while "Falling Day" is hot goth-rock. She doesn't have a ton of vocal gravitas, and too much of the record is taken up by spirdery guitar explorations; its indicative that the soft, simple break-up lament "Sunnyside" is both the least musically showy thing here, and the most moving.
- Kaki King
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