What sets Kurt Vile apart from his numerous influences (Springsteen, R.E.M., Tom Petty) is not necessarily the sound he creates. Many of his songs would have felt at home on any Petty record from ‘76 to ‘81, were they recorded with the proper tech.
No, what makes Vile unforgettable is his charm. And on Smoke Ring for My Halo, he has crafted a new sound, allowing us to see him through clear lenses. He has toned down the weird here and has maintained his clever pop charm. Smoke Ring, overall, feels more cohesive than his prior work. It’s a clean and solid album, one of the year’s best so far.
DOWNLOAD: “Smoke Ring for My Halo”