by Chris Thile



The latest solo disc from Nickel Creek wunderkind Chris Thile finds the newgrass pioneer branching out, even by his own standards. On Deceiver, the 23-year-old not only plays all the instruments, sings all the vocals, and co-produces; he also ups the musical intensity, offering tunes that match the fractured psyche revealed in his lyrics. In contrast to the tender, acoustic meditations dotting his previous solo outing, All Who Wander Are Not Lost, here Thile pairs lyrics such as "nothing feels good unless I've felt it before" and "I'm enchanted by a way of life in disrepair" with abrupt tempo changes, layers of electric and acoustic instruments, and dramatic protests from various instrumental combinations, including string quartets reminiscent of the Beatles. The Fab Four turn out to be a big influence on Deceiver. Thile is fed up with himself, searching for answers to an existential crisis, and his deeply intimate and searing interior monologues resemble an embryonic version of John Lennon's first solo album. On "Empire Falls," an intense tale of psychic displacement, a grungy rock guitar leads the way to a Beatlesque harmony passage that suddenly appears in a chorus. Elsewhere, Thile flaunts the instrumental acumen he's been known for since his preteen years, as on such mandolin-led instrumentals as the wistful "Waltz for DeWayne Pomeroy" and the bright, buoyant "Jessamyn's Reel." More typical, however, is "The Wrong Idea," on which a quiet acoustic piano and mandolin frame a story about adolescent angst but soon give way to distorted guitars and pounding percussion as the lyrical stakes rise. Deceiver is complex and challenging on every level, and its young auteur sounds like he's got a line on some hard truths his peers haven't even approached yet.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/12/2004
Label: Sugarhill
UPC: 0015891397627
catalogNumber: 3976

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Deceiver 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's a different side of Chris Thilie; more rock sounding. But he's still a genius when it comes to creating music and lyrics. His songs are so poetically written, his music is toe-tapping, sensational stuff. I've been repeating it over and over since I bought it. Any music lover would have to add this cd to their collection- otherwise you'll be missing out!