Strange Negotiations

Album Review of Strange Negotiations by David Bazan.

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Strange Negotiations

David Bazan

Strange Negotiations by David Bazan

Release Date: May 24, 2011
Record label: Barsuk
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

67 Music Critic Score
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Strange Negotiations - Fairly Good, Based on 4 Critics

No Ripcord - 80
Based on rating 8/10

When an artist “goes solo,” does the sophomore album rule of thumb still apply? No matter, David Bazan’s avoided that particular pitfall with the solid Strange Negotiations with — not grace, but something like it. He’s never been a particularly graceful artist, and it’s one of his enviable strengths. When he was fronting Pedro the Lion, Bazan was clumsy, awkward even, but he was ruthlessly efficient.

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AllMusic - 70
Based on rating 7/10

David Bazan chronicled his breakup with God on Curse Your Branches, his first solo album. Strange Negotiations deals with the aftermath. “I’m making a list of all the negative side effects,” Bazan sings during the second song, and he follows through on that promise, writing in unflinching detail about his controversial transformation from church-goer to skeptic.

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PopMatters - 50
Based on rating 5/10

It’s not like he’s a great singer, but David Bazan certainly knows his voice. On Strange Negotiations, Bazan’s second solo album, he mostly sounds world-weary. There’s an edge in his throat and absolutely zero BS in his straightforward delivery of lines like “You’re a goddamn fool and I love you.” Expression and emotion seem afterthoughts.

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American Songwriter
Their review was positive

David Bazan’s range is limited; his voice is raw and rough. His particular style of guitar-playing consists of chugging out bursts of one chord—pausing—and then moving on to the next, a locomotive train pulling in and out of a quick succession of stations. It’s a steam-engine comparison worth making since his latest effort, Strange Negotiations, fashions itself after the legend Bazan sings about on “Eating Paper,” a rollicking song that is one of the many highlights on the album—“John Henry dies in a tunnel/Hammer in his hand/Steam drill lives on/To make fools of every man.” Like John Henry, Strange Negotiations is workman-like.

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