Here they try too hard...
When the Willard Grant Conspiracy collective sit down to create, their number can run anywhere from two founder members Paul Austin and Robert Fisher to an orchestral 24. It may go someway to explain why elements of ‘Everything’s Fine’ can feel overdone.
This is a record so well produced that the tracks’ elemental beauty is frequently lost under a well buffed sheen. For every ‘Kite Flying’ or ‘Drunkards Prayer’, both with old testament allusions and keen melodies, there is a ‘Christmas In Nevada’ or ‘The Beautiful Song’, tracks that add up to much less that the sum of their constituent parts.
Whilst as on last year’s languidly affecting ‘Mojave’, WGC and their deep mahogany sound have been fairly aligned to the A-list of contemporary Americana, here they try too hard. Despite throwing all the right alt country shapes, rarely does it feel true; more like a [I]How To…[/I] guide than a well thumbed diary.
When they do actually mine their rich seam of mellow doubt and say more by saying less, WGC unquestionably sound like a band with one classic album within them. When, as here, they come on like Tindersticks apologists, they remind you that ‘Everything’s Fine’ is not that record.