Anais Mitchell – Young Man In America 10+/10
EVERYONE WHO thought last year’s Let England Shake from PJ Harvey the greatest thing since sliced bread, return to the table. Anais Mitchell‘s Young Man In America is the whole loaf. Multi-grain, with seeds.
It’s not only tastier and more filling, it doesn’t need a professional critic to explain what it is.
Young Man In America is, unreservedly, the best album in the last 10 or 20 years, and one of the best of all time.
Why? Because it is the musical equivalent of The Old Man And The Sea, the fishing story that isn’t; a piece of popular art that is simultaneously other worldly and set in present tense. Like parables from the Bible, there is always the simple story, the clear lesson and the greater meaning.
That is it’s genius. It is an album for Everyman. Each song is a gently flowing text of narrative, social observation and morality play set to soft and sweet folk. Undulating layers of guitar, violin, piano and mandolin relax, intrigue, stir and comfort as needed within the rhythm of the words.
It is brilliant on every level. A major literary and musical accomplishment that won’t get stuck up on the top shelf with your Satanic Verses and Let England Shake.