Cass McCombs – A

Bleakly beautiful drone-grooves from singer-songwriter tipped for greatness

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A maverick who’s already saddled with accusations of genius, McCombs is a Baltimore-based singer-songwriter whose brief history involves gigs with Will Oldham. The surprising twists and curls of his music may well inspire devotion similar to that thrust at Prince Billy. His voice?a cracked, chipped Dion?brooks no logic, slurring and sliding through arrestingly odd but sincere lyrics and ramshackle, extended structures, sometimes evoking Neil Young’s On The Beach. Instant outsider classic “I Went To The Hospital” welcomes us in with a fear-of-death saga, and titles like “A Comedian Is Someone Who Tells Jokes” and “Aids In Africa” tell you this will be either challenge or chore.

Take the plunge: anyone singing “I wanna be famous for falling in love” is clearly singing from the only place worth singing from.

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