A live album, but far from a necessary one. In contrast to the fun and cautiously experimental Bonnarooooooooo live album, this one features nearly song played just like the album version, or with a few extra trills thrown in (“On Your Wings” has some bongos and a cute “rockin” guitar at the end, and “Woman King” has an extra fuzz-bass), but it’s mostly like listening to live studio recordings of songs that are beautiful but live only translate into the same songs with funny accent.
A few, mostly older songs get zazzed up a bit, but in the same ways they are at said BonnarooooooooOOOooo show. To wit: “Bread Stealing Bread” becomes a soft country lilted instead of a beardy guitar song, “Upward Over The Mountain” sounds great as an indie rocker, “Teeth In the Grass” isn’t fooling anyone as a bassy rock song, but works nonetheless, and “The Trapeze Swinger” still works as a finger-picked thinger instead of a strummed thinger.
Also, The Beamer is still not great at stage banter, so you won’t get that out of it. At the start he asks how everybody’s doing, and when they cheer he sounds surprised and says “…yeah?” as if he thought someone might say “just twisted my ankle, so only okay.” Then he breaks into the song. And later he says Norfolk’s really special, and doesn’t even try to make it believable. Fun fact, people from Norfolk prefer to be called Norfucks.
Also, nearly every song fades out at its end, which don’t make no sense for a live album, and seems planned to avoid letting us hear any banter. But don’t ask me, I’m not a toaster oven.
Myles’s toaster oven.
Overall. we’re looking at seven honkin’ songs from Our Endless Numbered Days, four of the five from the “Woman King” EP, only three from The Creek Drank the Cradle, one B-side (the excellent acoustic number “Communion Cups and Someone’s Coat), one from The Sea and the Rhythm (“The Night Descending,” which is cut to two minutes for some reason), and one from a soundtrack (“El Loco Trapeze Swingero”). And why does he play so many wrong notes in the intro to “On Your Wings?” That is seriously not okay.
6 / 10