smog – knock knock (1999)

“I feel light and strong,” Bill Callahan sings on ‘I Could Drive Forever’. His seventh LP under the ‘Smog’ moniker is, too, light and strong. So light and so strong that it remains one of the most intimate records of the 90s. Perhaps it is the smooth, road trip aesthetic, or the impression it gives of a pleasant chat at a mediocre sports bar—in its direct communications, ‘Knock Knock’ holds a complete nearness. The great musical successes are in its deceptive variety: because Callahan is so famously consistent with his voice, the instruments can pendulate solely from the story being told. They do, deftly, gently. 

29/30

A favourite: ‘Cold Blooded Old Times’ 

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