Looking at the length of the tracks, 'Wakin On A Pretty Daze' may seem an intimidating prospect. There are seven tracks over the five minute mark, with the opening track 'Wakin On A Pretty Day' coming in at nearly ten minutes. Yet, somehow after listening to it, you haven’t felt that such a period of time has elapsed – the melodies retain your attention and Vile’s guitar lines are dreamlike, never demanding too much of the listener.
The sequencing on the album is cleverly done, with each of the longer tracks followed usually by a shorter, more direct piece. Not only does this prevent the record from meandering, keeping the listener honest throughout, it demonstrates Vile can be more direct too, capable of producing songs in a more conventional pop format. 'Never Run Away' is a particular highlight, with a hook laden chorus that boasts the simple refrain of "Hey...hey, now".
The lyrics are charming and self-effacing throughout. Album closer 'Goldtone' not only has the musical richness of the preceding tracks, but its jovial opening lyrics "Sometimes when I get in my zone/ You'd think I was stoned/ But I never as they say 'touch that stuff" provides a levity to the song which is delightful. In contrast, the poignant 'Pure Pain' finds Vile describing the loneliness of touring and how he is yearning for his wife, which is genuinely touching.
'Wakin On A Pretty Daze' is the sound of an artist who has mastered his talent and is showcasing it to the world. While there are inevitably moments of self-indulgence on the record, you forgive Vile, partially because of his ability but more importantly the warmth which pervades throughout the record. He sings in 'Was All Talk' "Makin’ music is easy / Watch me" - on this evidence, it really is for Vile.
MP3 DOWNLOAD: KURT VILE - 'NEVER RUN AWAY' (right click, save as)
MP3 DOWNLOAD: KURT VILE - 'WAKIN ON A PRETTY DAY' (right click, save as)
Purchase 'Wakin On A Pretty Daze' at amazon.co.uk. Find more info at kurtvile.com.