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Arts and Entertainment

A Eulogy for Peter Walker

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Dangerbird Records
Release Date: 09/11/07

Peter Walker did the right thing when he decided to ditch the solo career for his band Eulogies. For some reason or another, his solo career didn't interest me, but Eulogies' self-titled 2007 release has proven otherwise. The new album is a striking and addictive indie rock endeavor, the antithesis of Walker's previous Wilco-compared work.

Eulogies is built upon deceivingly poppy premise. The band name, lyrical content, and overall tone is piteous yet the songs are presented in a generally upbeat, indie manner. After a brief moment of ambient instrumentals, Walker dives into straightforward, palm-muted chords on "One Man". All of the sudden, I'm enraptured by a glorious verse to chorus segue. The resulting shaker-driven, pop rock chorus seizes my brain and I almost overlook Walker's overburdened tone: "I'm only one man, I'm only one man". The bleak statement encapsulates being pulled at from every direction.

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The subsequent track entitled "Suicide" further solidifies my case. Upon reading the song title you may have imagined a gloomy, slow-paced downer, when in fact what you get is one of the most rocking, upbeat songs on the album. On "Suicide" we see a progression of doo doo's, Walker wailing over wide-open distorted chords, and a clap-happy, solo-infused rock and roll interlude. Eulogies throws all sorts of curve balls down your way.

Eulogies - "One Man"

Sedate ballads like "If I Knew You", "Can't Relate", and "Compromise" embody Walker's propensity for crafting melodic indie rock lullabies. I have a particular place in my heart for Walker's mawkish vocal presentation on "Can't Relate". I presume these mid-tempo, maudlin ballads are inextricably linked to his previous solo aspirations. Yet somehow he managed to convey these batch of songs much more passionately than ever before.

Overall, Eulogies showcases Walker's most coherent, comfortable effort to date. If you're a fan of anything and everything Dangerbird, then I suggest you check this album out. Even though Eulogies will inevitably be overshadowed by Sea Wolf's Leaves In The River, this album captures the culmination of Walker's career. This is Walker at his best.

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