A.A. Bondy – Believers

Rating: ★★★½ ·

For years now, A.A Bondy has been riding the waves of undiscovered artist; while garnering some devoted fans, he hasn’t exactly achieved instant fame and success of the independent world. However, as per the intrigue of his last album and the original detailed work of his very first effort, this hasn’t seemed to hurt Bondy in the slightest; he is still a master at his folksy craft.

There isn’t a song on this album more dauntingly beautiful than “Skull and Bones,” which crops up third in the listening experience. From the moment it begins, there is a foreboding feeling instilled by the effervescent bass and guitar combo. It’s an unsettling sound that gives a sense of instability and then A.A himself jumps in with those cautionary vocals that add to the darkness of this twisting song.  At a little over three minutes long, it jumps right in and grabs your focus right from the start, and then pulls you further and further in, and by the time the looped vocals of the chorus flood your ears, you can’t help but notice the elegant poignancy that the track dangles out there for you to snatch up on repeated listens. A.A Bondy knows this, and includes a short, cleansing song after it, as to break away from its quiet resonance and move back to his more traditional folk style.

This is a lovely change for Bondy, and though it’s unparalleled on this album, it is certainly not the extent of good songs to be found on Believers. You have late stunners such as “The Twist,” that is just dripping in delectable folk elements and yet it still has a quick pace that doesn’t allow it to be as heavy as earlier songs. This pacing allows it to sink in slower, and not become a bogged down album. By no means is it fluffy pop fuzz, but it is not so thick that it becomes a drag to listen to.

For a third release, this album is very consistent, at least at first glance. It seems that Bondy is just destined to remain under the radar in his work, which is not necessarily a bad thing, as he is currently a man with three solid albums, each of which with its golden moments. This being said, I can definitely see Believers becoming more with time as it ripens in the minds of listeners. Regardless, it’s still worth a good listening to; time will tell if it will be something extraordinary.

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