Personnel: Vic Chesnutt (vocals, nylon-string guitar); Vic Chesnutt; Everybody (vocals); Chad (electric guitar); Jessica (violin); Gen (viola); Beckie (cello); Effrim (harmonium); Thierry (electric bass); Scott (drums); T. Griffin (acoustic guitar); Efrim (electric guitar, piano, harmonium); Guy Picciotto, Chad Jones (electric guitar); Nadia Moss (piano, organ); Bruce Cawdron (glockenspiel); Howard Bilerman (drums); Eric, Jem Cohen, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band, Eric Craven, Genevieve Heistek.
Liner Note Author: Jem Cohen.
Recording information: Thee Mighty Hotel 2 Tango, Montreal, Canada.
Photographers: Jem Cohen; Jessica Moss.
Unknown Contributor Role: Eric Craven.
Vic Chesnutt knows how to leaven his intensity with humor, or with arrangements that put a pretty buffer between his neuroses and his listeners' ears. This 2007 release finds the alt-folk singer applying all these tricks and more on a set of sad, angry, and at times even uplifting songs that thrive on lovely melodies and smart lyrics. His many guests on this first release for the Southern Records label include members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Fugazi, and the Quavers.
Spin (p.96) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[When] Vic Chesnutt spikes his soul-crushing songs with a wicked grin, he somehow gives discomfort a powerful allure."
Q (p.94) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "'Everything I Say' and 'Debriefing' crank up the volume and rock dynamics to devastating effect. Chesnutt goes where few other songwriters dare to go..."
Uncut (p.87) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "NORTH STAR DESERTER is among his finest.....'Glossolalia' builds into a mighty squall evocative of 16 Horsepower."
The Wire (p.57) - "The musicians have the good sense to know when to let Chesnutt's dry-leaf vocals and muted acoustic guitar carry the songs, and when to swell up and bring a heightened Gothic intensity to the feelings of melancholy and dread."
No Depression (p.95) - "[With a] gentle vocal delivery...his songs become unassuming but also strangely unsettling."