2013 Favorites: #1 Retribution Gospel Choir – 3
Back in January, I wrote, “This new two song record is easily the best thing I’ve heard in this young year. It sets a very high bar for everyone else to try to top.” Well, it’s nearly eleven months later and no one cleared the bar. Favorite albums are often inexplicable; you hear something that no one else does, a connection is made that others can never perceive and you can never quite articulate. I feel that way about 3. In many ways it’s just Crazy Horse worship, which is never a bad thing. But just as I can’t explain why the best work of Neil & the Horse is so hypnotic, engaging, and moving despite its utter simplicity and almost naive approach to rhythm, I can’t tell you why this recording laid at their altar grabbed me around my ample middle in January and won’t let me shake free. I’ve never really cared for any of Retribution Gospel Choir’s prior work, and I appreciate more than I enjoy or love much of Low’s catalog. But none of that matters since I first heard 3. Head and shoulders above everything else I’ve ever heard from Alan Sparhawk, and a nearly equal distance above everything else in what has proved to be an incredible year for music. Seven haunts me still.