Nate Charles is singer/songwriter who recently released a lo-fi effort entitled Becoming The Lost Again. It’s a mostly a mixed bag of songs relying on acoustic guitar and vocals except for one song. I have to be honest that it takes a little more then a guy strumming basic chords on a guitar to keep my interest. It reminds me of all the open mics I used to go to in college. I’d say despite his album mostly consisting of guitar and vocals he kept my attention with well crafted songs and the occasional piano.
One way Becoming The Lost Again is uneven is the recording quality. There is just no denying some songs have a clearer, studio sound while other songs closer to demos. He opens with a success entitled “Waiting For Motion” that has some of the best vocal work and a good guitar which had a Zeppelin-esque fill that I enjoyed. My only quibble is he drags on the minimal piano part on way too long at the end of the song. I get he’s going for a dramatic, pensive outro but it would have been more effective at about twenty seconds and not a-minute-and-a-half.
“Divided Hearts” is another good track. I really liked the guitar part on this song and thought his singing was top notch. That being said the song needed some level automaton or compression. “Grace Through The River” isn’t as strong as the previous tracks. Not only was it underproduced compared to the first two tracks but I found the guitar parts less impressive.
He gets back on track with a highlight entitled “For The Sake Of Your Love.” Some of his best vocal melodies are on this track. There is a bit of Beach Boys in there. I liked it. He ends the album with a completely bizarre and unexpected move. The last song “Unknowing So Quiet (Pops)” is kind of like two songs. The first half is ambient, experimental and not remotely close to any other song. It opens with haunting piano keys and becomes slightly dissonant and maybe even beautiful.
Guitar strings flicker in the second phase leading into even more experimental territory. It starts to sound like you are boarding an alien spacecraft. I really liked this track but was completely thrown off guard. It's so out of left field from his straightforward folk songs it almost works.
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