ALBUM REVIEW: Kurt Vile Keeps on Keeping On on ‘Bottle It In’

Another hazy trip from the easy-going guitarman.

Kurt Vile’s easygoing guitar rock has been affectionately described as “driving music,” netting him comparisons to Kevin Morby, Cass McCombs, his recent collaborator Courtney Barnett and his former band, The War on Drugs. Vile’s seventh studio album, Bottle It In, doesn’t really defy expectations, but instead compounds and abstracts the sort of hazy, rambling guitar gems that he’s loved for.

Over an hour in length, Bottle It In’s tracks often stretch over 5 minutes, with two songs passing the 10-minute mark. Over that long runtime, Vile wanders through gorgeous, jangling guitars, making stoned observations in a half-awake daze. Highlights include “Loading Zones,” “Mutinies,” “One Trick Ponies” and “Check Baby,” but the centerpiece here is the gorgeous “Bassackwards,” where Vile is at his most abstract, perpetually contradicting himself until he gives up, with his voice dying out and fading away.

Bottle It In thrives in moments like these, where it plays as a mirror to Vile’s drifting mind. Like Vile’s mind, it’s imperfect, but there’s some incredible beauty in there.

Score: 🍾🍾🍾🍾/5

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