Release Date: Feb 22, 2011
Record label: Anti
Genre(s): Folk, Alternative Folk, Anti-Folk
SEAN ROWE plays the Dakota April 14. See listing. Rating: NNNN Some artists seem to spring up out of the earth fully formed, like mushrooms. Recent Anti- signee and dedicated naturalist Sean Rowe is such a singer/songwriter. With its confident, mature and meditative approach, his debut album belies ….
Look out, folkies, there’s a new gravel-voiced troubadour on the scene. The Troy, New York-based Rowe’s songs have an edge to them, albeit in an all-too-similar vein. There are flashes of lyrical brilliance—like on “Jonathan,” where he channels his inner Leonard Cohen as a witness to deadly car wreck and delves deep into the raw emotion of dealing with tragedy, showing off dark overtones and songwriting chops on this solid, yet unspectacular debut for Anti-.
Magic is like a mix tape of dark folk and gloomy icons. There’s nothing original about Sean Rowe, as he plunders the songbooks of his favorite artists and imitates them to the best of his ability. This isn’t a terrible album, but it is annoying, and would be much more potent if his influences weren’t so apparent. “Wrong Side of the Bed” is Nick Cave vs.