2012 GRAMMYÂ® Nominees
The 2012 GRAMMYÂ® nominations are in, and frankly, we’re thrilled to see nominations for a ton of our all-time favorite artists. Scanning the list is an embarrassment of eMusic riches: Bon Iver? Nominated for Song of the Year for “Holocene.” Cut Copy? Best Dance/Electronica Album for Zonoscope. Radiohead, Mumford & Sons and The Decemberists? All up for Best Rock Performance. Oh, and that’s not including noms for My Morning Jacket, Death Cab for Cutie, Wilco, and more, as you’re about to see in our breakdown of key categories below…
Record of the Year
In the three years since Justin Vernon became known beyond the local scenes of Raleigh, North Carolina, and Eau Claire, Wisconsin, three words — cabin, beard, Kanye — have seemingly become requirements in discussing his work. And while it's tempting to review his no-longer-solo second record without mentioning where he recorded his first (2008's For Emma, Forever Ago), his facial scruff, and the pop star who pushed him to new prominence, it's... possible, too, that these aspects of Vernon's biography speak to deeper, more essential elements of his music.more »
His work with West, for one, speaks to his ravenous collaborative tendencies. Bon Iver is a gloriously intricate full-band effort, but one that incorporates lessons from every artist Vernon spent studio time with since releasing For Emma. (And there are many, from the Rosebuds to Land of Talk to the guileless AM-radio supercollective Gayngs.) These magpie sensibilities reveal the wolfish auteur beneath the six-string and flannel, one with equal affection for John Prine and Bruce Hornsby. Throughout Bon Iver, Vernon unblinkingly replaces the moodily strummed six-strings of his debut with MIDI sequencers and full-on sax solos and unleashes fluttering orchestral touches and pedal steel behind the skittering twerks of his Auto-Tuned falsetto.
The self-imposed exile that gave birth to For Emma and the communal, deliberately-recruited sessions of his second suggest a kind of modular, adaptable musicality that thrives according to the demands and needs of Vernon's own emotional and creative needs. Dodging the easy narrative of his classic debut, Bon Iver doesn't so much cement the promise of Vernon's debut as broaden its terms.
Song of the Year
In the book of First Timothy, Chapter 1, verse 15, the Apostle Paul wrote: "Here is a trustworthy saying: Christ came into the world to save sinners — of whom I am the worst." Approximately 2,000 years later, Kanye West updates that sentiment, writing "Let's have a toast for the douchebags, let's have a toast for the assholes." This couplet arrives in the back half of his practically perfect, brutally dark fifth... record by which point, in lieu of outright salvation, a good stiff drink will do just fine.more »
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy could be subtitled Kanye in Blunderland; in the grand, fascinating, multi-installment, decade-long piece of theater that is Kanye West, this is the one where he tumbles down the other side of the mountain and discovers that the world is run on an acrid brew of hypocrisy, malice and double-standards and that the ogre living in the castle at the top of the hill looks an awful lot like the guy you see glumly staring back at you in the mirror every morning.
The album opens with a spoken-word prologue by Nicki Minaj (in an accent that suggests Mary Poppins by way of American Life-era Madonna) which serves to establish its conceit: "You may think you've peeped the scene. You haven't — the real one's far too mean." Fantasy is a fairy tale, but it's one full of broken marriages and battered egos and unruly blowhards. Its opening inquiry, "Can we get much higher?" almost feels like a cruel taunt — the musical backdrop it's set against is stark and menacing, and it keeps interrupting West's high-flying verses like a Greek chorus jabbing him in the side until he finally relents. The song's closing image is as chilling as a horror film: "At the mall there was a séance/ Just kids, no parents/ Then the sky filled with herons."
That's the godless, parentless, lifeless world in which Fantasy takes place, one that exists — terrifyingly — without rules or boundaries or justice. In the grim acid-rock "Gorgeous," West seethes, "Face it: Jerome get more time than Brandon/ and at the airport they check all through my bag and tell me that it's random," and in "All of the Lights" a single father pleads for custody of a daughter he's only allowed to see during public visitations at a Borders bookstore. "Hell of a Life" stomps and lurches like doom metal, its grizzled guitar line grinding away as Kanye follows a common setup — falling in love with a porn star — to a harrowing conclusion, rattling off scenario after scenario in which his lover is the victim of societal snubs. The chorus, sung to the tune of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man," goes, "Have you lost your mind?" That the song is followed by "Blame Game" — one of the most excruciating dissections of a failing relationship ever committed to tape — only twists the knife. The music throughout Fantasy is brutal and driving: hail-of-bullets drums on "All of the Lights," cut-up King Crimson sample and thunderous guitar on the fierce, hard-charging "POWER," sizzling Nine Inch Nails-style synth on "So Appalled." Fantasy transcends genre, an all-consuming pop record that absorbs, synthesizes and redistributes thousands of albums at once.
Above all else, though, Fantasy is about Kanye, and rarely has an artist so expertly used his public image to create a whole new piece of art. The degree to which he was excoriated for the unbelievably insignificant sin of interrupting Taylor Swift turned him into an outcast, a scarred comic book villain who vows revenge on a society that spurned him. He re-emerges to deliver gifts they don't deserve — ego intact, but any trace of bonhomie replaced by an exacting spite. His persona is as crucial an element to the record as the drums or vocals. It provides a doppleganger foil for him to rail against, a justifiably oversized, swell-chested body for him to inhabit, and a hero for him — and all of us — to root for. And in case there remains any uncertainty, he's even good enough to provide us a summary statement — not just of the album, but of his entire life: "I'm so gifted at finding what I don't like the most." Other rappers exult in the thrill that comes from being powerful enough to do whatever you want, but Kanye is one of few who admits to the accompanying horror. Anyone who thinks he's simply egomaniacal and self-involved is only half-right. Kanye revels in the dizziness that comes from whipping repeatedly from self-aggrandizement to self-laceration, and Fantasy is the portrait of a man struggling in vain to suppress his own nature. He's the guy drunkenly making a fool of himself and the guy at the other end of the bar shaking his head in disgust. Even the triumphant-sounding "POWER" ends with Kanye committing suicide. It's OK if you hate Kanye West — most of the time, he does, too.
So it's no surprise that, at the end of the album, he evaporates entirely, ceding the reins to Gil Scott-Heron, who pointedly asks the album's defining question: "Who will survive in America? Who will survive in America?" There's no answer, of course, just scattered, confused applause, then silence. Kanye knows we're all fucked because we're all fucked-up, that for every stellar accomplishment there comes an equal and opposite loss, and that with great power comes greater culpability. And while he spends the bulk of Fantasy dutifully fulfilling his role as chief among sinners, it's worth noting that, the year it was released, Kanye was 33. Which makes him old enough to be his own savior.
Best Pop Solo Performance
When she released her debut album 19 in 2009, Adele established herself as one of pop's best new voices, delivering torchy, soul-steeped tunes that appealed to both suburban moms turned off by Amy Winehouse's outsized, afoul-of-the-law persona and heartbroken teenage girls who repurposed her uplifting lyrics for Facebook status updates.more »
Adele's global success should've resulted in a second album about coping with the pratfalls of success. Instead, the girl sounds like she's... been through hell and more heartbreak - and lived to tell about it. But what a boon for her music: 21 is one of the most tuneful pop records of the year, and while the 22-year-old has said in interviews that she found inspiration in contemporary Nashville pop, 21 borrows liberally from every great American music tradition, from Motown and Tin Pan Alley to '70s AM Gold and R&B.
21's best tracks find Adele coping with broken relationships and the damaged psyches of dudes who've done her wrong. Lead single "Rolling in the Deep" plays like the catchiest girl-group tune the Supremes never recorded, with Adele vowing revenge - "There's a fire starting in my heart/ Reaching a fever pitch, and it's bringing me out the dark" - over thunderous handclaps, thudding pianos and gospel backing vocals. "I'll Be Waiting" is even hotter: Adele makes her finest Dusty in Memphis soul moves over sexed-up horn stabs and a choogling piano-drum-bass groove.
Adele hired a host of producers to helpthe album, among them Rick Rubin, OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder and Paul Epworth, and 21 occasionally suffers from too many cooks in the studio. (The Tedder-produced, string-soaked ballad "Turning Tables" sounds like a second-rate version of her breakout single "Chasing Pavements," while "Don't You Remember" hews too closely to the Whitney Houston playbook: mournful verse, big chorus, bigger bridge...aaaaand key change!) But Adele's booming, gale-force pipes and her convincing tales of heartbreak make 21 such a pleasurable listen. Is it mean to hope she never finds a guy who treats her right?
Best Pop Instrumental
There's something wonderfully imperturbable about the organ playing of Booker T. Jones. Whether he's riding the keys like a raft on a river of honey, or greasing 'em up in the service of some nasty funk, Booker T's Hammond is always sweetly self-assured and squarely in the pocket, willfully oblivious to the passage of time or trend — it still whirs and burbles like it did when it helped put Stax Records... on the map nearly 50 years ago. Relegated to a supporting role on 2009's guitar-centric Potato Hole, Booker T's Hammond now reclaims its proper place in the spotlight on his fourth solo album, The Road From Memphis.more »
A 14-track salute to the music (and enduring musical influence) of his hometown, The Road From Memphis was recorded by the Dap-Kings' Gabriel Roth and produced by The Roots' ?uestlove and Beck/Elliott Smith/Whigs knob-twiddler Rob Knopf (who also co-produced Potato Hole). It happily centers around what Jones has always done best: Nine of the tracks are organ-driven soul instrumentals, all of which adhere beautifully to Booker T & the MGs' uncluttered keys-guitar-bass-drums template. Legendary session guitarist Dennis Coffey drops in for "Everything Is Everything," "The Vamp" and "Harlem House," but all the instros — even the somewhat superfluous rendition of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" — operate on the same high (or is that low-down?) level.
The album's five vocal tracks are more of a mixed bag: The monotonous "Progress" features a wan blue-eyed soul vocal from Yim Yames (aka Jim James of My Morning Jacket), while Lou Reed's croaking cameo on "The Bronx" sounds like he recorded it at his old-age home between spoonfuls of pureed carrots. The pairing of modern soul queen Sharon Jones with Matt Berninger of The National on "Representing Memphis" actually comes off better than it might sound on paper, but Booker T's sly vocal turn on "Down in Memphis" makes one wish that "Representing Memphis" had been a Jones-Jones duet. The real wild card of The Road From Memphis is found on the deluxe edition, a cover of "Just a Friend," wherein Biz Markie reprises his 1989 hit with backing from Booker T, the Roots, Sharon Jones and Berninger — and though it doesn't really fit in with the rest of the album, it's still a supremely enjoyable goof.
Best Rock Performance
In a SPIN cover story during the press run-up to Hail To The Thief, Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien mused to Chuck Klosterman about longevity in rock. "I'm interested in bands as beasts," he said. "I'm interested in U2 and the Rolling Stones and Neil Young & Crazy Horse....[Being in a band] is a complicated thing to do over the expanse of time, which is why I respect it so... much." For Radiohead, the most revered apocalyptic doomsayers in rock, this is a disarmingly prosaic concern. For hardcore devotees, it could be deflating to hear the band's members discussing their inner dynamic like marriage counselors.more »
And yet: Asserting the right to exist, and pondering the absurd level of difficulty inherent in maintaining such a basic right, has always been one of Radiohead's great themes. From the moment the first of their Great Trembling Visions of the Future dawned — that would be 1997's OK Computer — Radiohead have always spoken in two voices: the screaming panic of data overload and the whimpered plea, behind it, to just be left alone. Hey, man; slow down. They are reasonable men; get off their case.
On The King of Limbs, their eighth studio album, Radiohead sound like a band that has figured out, once and for all, how to exist. In that regard, it is both an achievement and a subtle forking in the road — from here on out, Radiohead don't seem likely to struggle very much; they know who they are, and they have gotten fearsomely good at making their music. The corollary to this is the slight pang from realizing that, well, they might never truly surprise you again.
If you can listen past this pinprick of disappointment, King of Limbs offers a wide set of generously enfolding arms for you. At a serenely inscrutable 37 minutes, it is their shortest record yet, but it beams with relaxed, lived-in confidence. The music never attempts something it doesn't achieve with aplomb, offering glimpses of every facet of Radiohead's ever-fluid sound along the way. "Bloom" layers a small tumble of piano against a rippling, blinding sea of clicks and pops — once the bass line starts crawling up the center of the song, you realize with some astonishment that they have built a sensual, undulating groove from a blizzard digital snow.
They do it again on the twitching arrhythmia of "Good Morning, Mr. Magpie," which sputters like a set of cut wires on a basement floor until Yorke's voice glides in, clear and calm. Throughout The King of Limbs, you sense that Radiohead been living with the noise of their own chattering machinery for so long now that they can't imagine life without it; on "Lotus Flower," Yorke plays patty-cake with it, punctuating the piston-like hammering of the downbeat with handclaps. The second half of the record dissolves into a shimmering blue sea of sound, with Yorke's croon sailing over top like a boat pushed with one foot. "In your arms/ I think I should give up the ghost," he sings on the beatific "Give Up The Ghost" — a peaceful hymn of surrender, perhaps, to the machines he's spent years cowering beneath.
Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance
Since forming in 1999, Mastodon have made some of the most challenging and exciting mainstream metal albums, fusing classically-informed riffs with heavy-ass pummeling and twisted storylines loosely inspired by Moby Dick and fantasy fiction. The Atlanta, Georgia, quartet are the undisputed kings of the genre, able to appeal to a broader audience than devil-horn-throwing biker bros. But with their latest record, they're comfortable to rest on their laurels — and it suits... them.more »
Unlike breakthrough albums Leviathan or Blood Mountain, The Hunter doesn't have any overarching storyline or concept — a welcome relief — and Mastodon dial back the prog-rock tendencies to deliver a fairly straightforward hard rock record. Credit goes to producer Mike Elizondo — who also happens to be an A&R exec at the band's label, so it makes sense that he'd try and clean up their sound in the interest of SoundScan numbers. To wit: The hot, skull-crushing "Curl of the Burl" might be the group's most straightforward single ever.
But Mastodon aren't major-label droids — they actually sound like they're having a genuine blast and frontman Brent Hinds has said in interviews that he hasn't been this excited about a Mastodon record in years. The major-key anthem "Blasteroid," for instance, is an uplifting, hard-charging blast — even if, in it, Hinds threatens to "rearrange your face for you."
Best Alternative Music Album
On Circuital's pedal steel-laced fifth track "Outta My System," our narrator, as played by Jim James, laundry-lists the bad ideas he's indulged, from smoking drugs to stealing cars, and is relieved after the resulting prison stints to have gotten it "out of his system." Now he can enjoy the simpler pleasures of life, like marriage and domesticity.more »
Not to draw too close a comparison between subject and creator, but Jim James also seems... to have gotten a few things out of his system. His supergroup Monsters of Folk, with M. Ward and Conor Oberst, and his intimate EP of George Harrison covers found him indulging his rootsier side. He also allowed himself more than a few weird divergences on My Morning Jacket's 2008 album Evil Urges. But longtime fans of the Louisville band, take heart: The demons have been exorcised. No more of the pulsing disco grooves that characterized "Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Pt.2"'s or the white-boy funk-as-fronted-by-Grover that was "Highly Suspicious."
Which is not to say that Circuital, the band's sixth album harkens back to their earliest work. In fact, it's sonically as far from the haze of It Still Moves and Z as Evil Urges was, the telltale reverb that once shrouded the band all but burned off. Take the raucous, punch-drunk "Holdin' on to Black Metal." Hardly an exercise in Norwegian doom, the song instead borrows its structure from an obscure Thai pop song (Kwan Jai & Kwan Jit Sriprajan's "E-Saew Tam Punha Huajai" to be exact). James and crew then proceed to blast it with swinging Stax horns and a children's choir, resulting in one of the band's most audacious and rewarding songs to date.
The title track shows new bucks like Fleet Foxes how it's done: It's gorgeous and spacious, but still full of hooks. The band is even more assured on slow-burners like the aptly-named "Slow Slow Tune" and piano-laced closer "Movin' Away." When James croons: "Moving away/ Oh where I will go," one can only guess where they might end up.
Best Traditional R&B Performance
Best Rap Performance
After the listening session for Watch The Throne, Jay-Z stood up and revealed to the assembled crowd that he and Kanye had recorded, and scrapped, an earlier version of their much-hyped, long-rumored collaborative rap album. "We had made this very big, impressive album, but I'm not sure if it was all that enjoyable," he said. So they returned to the studio, he continued, to render it more human. As a result of... their diligent efforts, Watch the Throne boasts the following down-to-earth touches: a gold-plated album cover designed by French fashion plate Riccardo Tisci; snatches of recorded NASA launch-code transmissions; a sample of Otis Redding's "Try A Little Tenderness," which probably could have bought a private jet or five; lyrics about physically balancing on stacks of money; and, oh, they kept the folksy title Watch the Throne.more »
Despite their best efforts, in other words, Watch the Throne remains what it was destined to be from the start: a massive, unapproachably haughty thing, the most ostentatiously over-the-top pop album in a year that included Lady Gaga's Born This Way. As he did on 2010's conspicuous-consumption-nightmare masterpiece My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye piles on jaw-dropping, gorgeous sounds here like so many flung bearskin rugs: Bon Iver, La Roux, Otis Redding, Nina Simone, the "Apache" drum break, a crushing dubstep sample; all his current favorite accouterments are here. There's also an Eastern European gypsy folk song reappearing in between songs, because, hey, why the hell not? The resulting room feels almost suffocated by the purchased luxury.
Conveniently, "suffocated by purchased luxury" is the overweening lyrical preoccupation of WTT. Material boasts are so high-concept that they take on a melancholy air; Jay-Z's Audemars Piguet watch isn't just decked out in diamonds, it's "losing time/ hidden behind all these big rocks." Kanye doesn't just collect luxury cars; he owns "Maybachs on 'bachs on 'bachs on 'bachs" (the "on backs" homonym can't be coincidental). In "Welcome to the Jungle," Jay-Z actually stares in a mirror and sighs, "I'm fuckin' depressed."
That slackness of soul is the most maddening and intriguing aspect of Watch The Throne. Ever since The Black Album's grand retirement party and his unofficial ascension into the highest ranks of American celebrity, Jay-Z has seemed, on record at least, like a man increasingly uncomfortable in his own expensive suit. In public appearances, he has perfected the art of regal maturity, but in the booth, he has often sounded queasy and lost, snarling with a savagery that feels unearned and lashing out semi-impotently at air. On Watch the Throne, he actually sounds lonely and lost, making it one of his most oddly compelling performances, if a bit heartbreaking. Kanye, by contrast, shows up on the album chopping up coke on naked black models and traffic-directing his own threesome.
Both of them, in other words, are lost in the depths of their own void, which makes this a particularly dark and somber "collaboration." Ye and Jay trade bars, even finish each other's lines, but the impression is of two brooding monarchs sleepwalking side-by-side through their own private nightmares, hardly aware of each other. "Sorry junior, I already ruined ya," Jay-Z rhymes to his unborn son on "New Day." Next to him, Ye moans that he hopes his child will be "somebody that people like." They are like Maybachs passing in the night.
Best Rap Album
Tha Carter IV will almost certainly fail to match the pop culture domination of Tha Carter III, and that might be the best thing going for it. III was an event by necessity, the culmination of an unprecedented artistic transformation that mostly occurred out of the eye of the mainstream. IV comes from the opposite trajectory of very public failures: Wayne's No. 1 spot was eclipsed by labelmates Nicki Minaj and Drake;... he served an eight-month prison stint for gun possession, issued mixtapes of wildly varying quality and put out two anticlimactic commercial releases, one being Rebirth, a nu-metal disaster that unintentionally doubled as an effective anti-cough syrup PSA. The scattershot, yet unyielding output caused equal worry that Wayne was either doing too many drugs or not doing enough. Fittingly, Tha Carter IV stays within that sort of confusing middle ground, simultaneously labored over and rushed, nowhere near as bad as it should've been, but also not as good as it could've been, completely valuated by your expectations.more »
Despite how many of these tracks were previously available as singles, what's surprising is how little this sounds like a pop concession — soppy loverman joint "How To Love" gave IV a much-needed hit, but the T-Pain-assisted "How to Hate" and Drake collaboration "I Will" are R&B pieces that are nastier, more vulgar and undoubtedly more Wayne. Likewise, a fleet of lesser-known producers give Wayne unobtrusive yet steely beats that do a decent approximation of Lex Luger's domineering synth fanfares — the typically grandiose Rick Ross feature "John," an interpolation of his own "I'm Not A Star," rocks harder than anything from Rebirth and "It's Good" fires back at Jay-Z's diss from "H.A.M." with fire-breathing ferocity.
It's also heartening to hear arguably the planet's biggest rapper still obsessed with wordplay, but the passion and discovery of his astounding run of mixtapes is lacking: Densely packed punchlines abound ("I'm fuckin' ready/ so I come prepared"), but so do tired hashtag rhymes ("have it your way...Burger King") and shopworn similes within his increasingly claustrophobic topicality. Literally and figuratively, there isn't enough Wayne — when he's not sounding a less inspired version of himself, there's the once unfathomable meeting of Tech N9ne and Andre 3000 ("Interlude") that finds both of them on their A-game, and Nas and Busta Rhymes' staggering speed raps closing the LP ("Outro") — Wayne inexplicably sits out both of them. His lack of total investment seems apt; considering all the delays, Tha Carter IV feels like something that just needed to happen already so Wayne could put it behind him and move on.
Best Folk Album
Singing in that unequivocal lonesome tenor of his on the title track to Helplessness Blues, Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold tells of his childhood. "Raised up believing I was somehow unique like a snowflake," he sings; but he soon follows with the converse wish, to be "a functioning cog in some great machinery, serving something beyond me."more »
Pecknold's desire to transcend himself has a touch of zeitgeist to it. Similar notions echoed through President... Obama's recent speech on community and the social compact, and pulsed beneath the surface of Jonathan Franzen's lauded Freedom. Of what use is personal freedom if there's no greater society beyond the self? Freedom involves others.
So later in that same song, when Pecknold exclaims, "I'm tongue-tied and I can't keep it to myself," his fans — and perhaps his bandmates and his label — are no doubt grateful. From the opening reverberations of "Montezuma" to the furious strumming of "Sim Sala Bim" through the geese-honk rupturing of epic centerpiece "The Shrine / An Argument," Helplessness Blues stuns with its refined yet unfettered beauty. It oozes out of every nook and corner, it rises in every chord change, it radiates in every convergence of the Fleet Foxes' honeyed voices, and it washes over listeners in waves.
A few moments, like the gorgeous, wordless voices that open "The Plains / Bitter Dancer" or the lilting waltz of "Lorelai," will no doubt make an older generation recall the halcyon harmonies of Simon & Garfunkel and Crosby Stills & Nash, but the band stakes ground firmly in the present. Pastoral as the music sounds, turmoil and doubt courses just under the surface. Rather than the earthy impressionism of its predecessor, Pecknold's words on Helplessness Blues document a creative struggle. He ponders his role as an artist, pines for a "selfless and true love," and seeks throughout to escape the state of "just looking out for me." Meditating on loss and temporality, that even these successes too will pass, Pecknold finds comfort in small moments instead. On the hushed ballad "Blue Spotted Tail," he asks that eternal question: "Why is life made only for to end?" He then hears a voice on the radio and "couldn't help but smile," for a brief moment outside of himself.
Best World Music Album
In 2011, "going unplugged" tends to mean going offline, living a life unencumbered (or enhanced) by the Web, to whatever degree that's possible, for a specified period of time. A couple decades ago, though, the term had a very different connotation: It referred to MTV Unplugged, where songs were performed with only acoustic instruments. Tassili, the fifth U.S.-issued album by Mali's Tinariwen, a Saharan desert ensemble formed in 1982 and led by... five rippling electric guitars, takes the phrase both ways. Though there was obviously recording gear involved, the area the band recorded in — "a protected region of the southeastern Algerian desert," per the PR — seems offline enough. On top of that, Tassili is the album where the band goes acoustic.more »
This might seem like a marketing setup: These guys are, after all, the walking definition of "desert blues." But the style Tinariwen plays is sometimes nicknamed simply "guitar" for a reason: All that six-string interaction has a dense weave that the group's percussionists, Said Ag Ayad and Mohammed Ag Tahada, amplify more than push. The Malians get some outside help, too, and although "Ya Messinagh" doesn't really need the extra oomph provided by a pair of horn players from the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, it's kind of nice to hear Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe from TV on the Radio show up in the midst of "Tenere Taqqim Tossam." They help out on a few other songs as well, a lot more quietly. The spotlight, as ever, is on those gorgeously rough guitars.