Eleventh LP from Michael Stipe's favourite singer-songwriter
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.