Eleventh LP from Michael Stipe's favourite singer-songwriter

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Vic Chesnutt – Silver Lake

Although his fans range from R.E.M. to Madonna, it has somehow always been easier to respect than love the music of Vic Chesnutt. But Silver Lake represents something of a breakthrough. Perhaps it’s because the songs have a more expansive feel. Maybe it’s the live vibe of the backing band, who recorded the entire album inside a week. Whatever, his obvious poetic and melodic gifts have seldom sounded so compelling. Echoes of Neil Young, Sparklehorse and Lambchop all spring to mind at different times. But Chesnutt is a total one-off who, on this form, may finally have found a way to connect with a wider audience without compromising his left-field vision.