***CHECK STOCK!!! Received an 8.3 Best New Reissue rating from Pitchfork. Nixon was released in early 2000. It was LAMBCHOP’s fifth LP, and the first record of any kind that the band had released in over a year, after a half-decade in which scarcely three months went by without some kind of new Lambchop music. Starting with the swell of horns in the middle of album opener “The Old Gold Shoe,” Nixon glides easily from one unexpected grace note to the next, peppering in funk, R&B, gospel, country, vintage folk—and integrating them all, not presenting them discretely. Lambchop has always taken its Nashville origins seriously, making use of the wide variety of talented musicians who live and work in Music City. Nixon drew Lambchop’s usual raft of mixed reviews and modest sales stateside—though the positive reviews were more positive than ever, as manycritics put the album on their year-end best-of lists, and fans who’d long loved the band felt more comfortable evangelizing to newcomers about such an accessible, tuneful record. Over the years, as Lambchop has continued to experiment, making more albums that are just as conceptual and well executed, Nixon has grown in stature as a sort of origin point. Yet as much as it was the kickoff to a new chapter in Lambchop’s story, Nixon was also an ending of sorts, at least as far as WAGNER is concerned. On the records that have followed, he’s tended to work with fewer personnel on any given track, moving away from Nixon’s bigger sound. “Nixon might’ve been the peak of the 14-person Lambchop,” he says. It was also the last Lambchop album to be recorded almost entirely with the old analog methods, which is something that Wagner marvels at now, given how complex these songs were to assemble. (STREET DATE - 1/28/2014)
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