CD Desert Etiquette [Digipak] * (CD 16009650),
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Desert Etiquette [Digipak] *

  • 1. Well Hidden
    2. In the Mud
    3. Balance, The
    4. Rincon
    5. Robespierre
    6. Please Reveal
    7. Modern Gunslinger
    8. Eye of a Needle
    9. Ambientador
    10. Rogue River
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): CD 71138

  • Credits

    Floating Action's third album is virtually the one-man show of Seth Kauffman, who played and sang everything himself except for a pedal steel on one track. The way in which it was recorded might lead you to believe it was almost an off-the-cuff side project, as he wrote the lyrics in two days and recorded it in 48 total hours. But though it has a laid-back, casual air, it's not careless. While some retro psych influences are felt, especially in the Indian-sounding twangs and drones punctuating the title track, it's a difficult-to-categorize singer/songwriter album at its heart. Kauffman has a laconic, almost deadpan vocal delivery, his songs carrying the ambience of a guy bemused with the haze through which he's drifting. Kauffman himself doesn't sound befuddled or burned out, however, as much as a benign pilot of pretty groovy, languid tunes with their share of haunting exoticism, especially in the forlorn backing vocals. The low-volume psychedelic feel is at the fore on "Well Hidden" and "In the Mud," but his musical palette is wider than that, also drawing on some low-key country-folk, muted catchy soul-pop, and some enticing dated electric keyboards (especially on "Robespierre"). There might be a slight tinge of Ray Davies' wryness to the singing and songwriting, but it's not unduly indebted to specific role models. It makes for a nice if unassuming release that's not quite strange folk or neo-psych, though it might appeal to fans of those styles. ~ Richie Unterberger

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