A.A. Bondy – Believers A.A. Bondy – Believers

On the periphery of popularity lies a near desolate landscape which crawls for miles. For many, it is a transitory place which acts as an exciting beginning or the cold reality of the end. For others, the outer rim of recognition is sometimes a purgatorial existence where albums and careers drift like ghosts. Auguste Arthur Bondy is not, by any stretch of the imagination, unknown. The singer songwriter has seen mild recognition with his two Americana records, favorable reviews by critics, as well as soundtrack inclusion on American and Australian television. It is not that A.A. Bondy is not well known rather he is not as recognized across a greater audience as he should be. For an artist who blurs numerous lines of folk, psychedelic and rock so effortlessly, A.A. Bondy could use more of an audience. This is of course, if everyone would stop sobbing uncontrollably.

Like most of the people A.A. Bondy is compared with (Bob Dylan, Elliot Smith and that one really sad Neil Young album) the music can be sometimes a bit of a drag. Believers is no different. Aside from mid tempo tracks like “The Twist” and “The Heart Is Willing,” the majority of Believers lingers in a slow trudge against a overcast sky. Unlike the folk inspired records of years past, Believers embraces minor drone and electric atmosphere that is not only more effective but somewhat disconnecting. While Bondy’s previous albums had its share of remorse, there existed a spark of vague optimism (or at least latent complacency). Believers abandons all aspects of life and skips right to an empty street at 3am.

Folk music works because of its connection with the audience. Without flashy structure or wild guitar solos, the emotions and stories are what draws people to the genre. Believers moves away from the Americana roots in search of something else. And while sadness has been Bondy’s prime directive since 2004’s American Hearts it has never felt so heavy until now. The pervasive emotion of despair can be felt like knives throughout Believers, though never connecting like American Hearts. The craft and production of this record is far superior than anything done in the past and fills any room, car or dive bar on the edge of town. Despite resonating aurally, there is something missing in Believers — something which makes it less enjoyable to be around.

A.A. Bondy, like other Fat Possum artists remain on the cusp of worldwide recognition. Bondy’s presence can be seen in the folk, country and indie realm without real powerful claim to any one genre. Perhaps it is fitting that Bondy floats and drifts like a cowboy through the periphery. It seems not to hinder the artist rather empower it. While this palette of gray failed to elicit any emotion from me, it does possess the power and gripping sadness necessary to reach an audience. Good luck partner.


The Heart Is Willing
Down In The Fire (Lost Sea)
Skull & Bones
123 Dupuy Street
Surfer King
The Twist
Route 28/Believers
10. Scenes From A Circus

A.A. Bondy - Believers, reviewed by Kaptain Carbon on 2011-10-06T08:01:12-07:00 rating 3.0 out of 5

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