Where Have You Been All My Life?
Label: Domino Recording Co
These lush folk-rock interpretations of Villagers’ old songs, recorded live, are built around fluttering guitar, Conor O'Brien's cracked croon, and a whisper of drums that would disappear if it weren't so lovingly miked. With room to breathe, spacious songs bloom into widescreen melodrama (“The Waves”) or stay small as folky ditties ("Memoir"). But the album's best is in between: with its ambling bass, dusky horns and slow-motion Paul Simon melody, a six-minute version of the rueful, self-mocking "So Naive" is at once the grandest moment and the sharpest hook.