12 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After a handful of recordings of varied strength and style (Fahey-finger picking, lo-fi wooziness, mainstream flirtations), Philly’s Kurt Vile (his real name) returns with a set of tunes almost as diverse. Childish Prodigy is as hard to nail down as Vile himself (he’s also a member of War On Drugs); gritty, grinding tracks like the Cramps-ish “Hunchback” and “Freak Train” are tempered with his own brand of hazy, forlorn lo-fi pop (à la Atlas Sound). There’s vulnerability beneath the tarp of reverb threatening to smother the life out of these songs, and that vulnerability is mostly in Vile’s voice, which can run the gamut from a genteel, lost soul to a gravel-throated threat. Tracks like “Overnight Religion” and “Amplifier” are full of ambience and longing, and when Vile chants, “I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care ....” on “He’s Alright,” you suspect he actually does. Guitars are strummed and plucked with economy, then woven into pleasing layers on the spare “Heart Attack” and “Blackberry Song,” but they howl with convincing splendor on “Monkey.” Childish Prodigy makes for a lively, if not slightly perplexing listening experience.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After a handful of recordings of varied strength and style (Fahey-finger picking, lo-fi wooziness, mainstream flirtations), Philly’s Kurt Vile (his real name) returns with a set of tunes almost as diverse. Childish Prodigy is as hard to nail down as Vile himself (he’s also a member of War On Drugs); gritty, grinding tracks like the Cramps-ish “Hunchback” and “Freak Train” are tempered with his own brand of hazy, forlorn lo-fi pop (à la Atlas Sound). There’s vulnerability beneath the tarp of reverb threatening to smother the life out of these songs, and that vulnerability is mostly in Vile’s voice, which can run the gamut from a genteel, lost soul to a gravel-throated threat. Tracks like “Overnight Religion” and “Amplifier” are full of ambience and longing, and when Vile chants, “I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care ....” on “He’s Alright,” you suspect he actually does. Guitars are strummed and plucked with economy, then woven into pleasing layers on the spare “Heart Attack” and “Blackberry Song,” but they howl with convincing splendor on “Monkey.” Childish Prodigy makes for a lively, if not slightly perplexing listening experience.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
34 Ratings

34 Ratings

mush25 ,

awsome

Ok so this sounds like Im walking in a forest and I stumble on to a bear that smiles and we dance around for the rest of time

SirBrown ,

Amazing

This album grew on me like a weed. I Thoroughly enjoyed it from the first play, but the more and more I listened the more and more I felt myself getting lost in the abyss that is Kurt Vile's Childish Prodigy. A Must Have

makr1423 ,

The rock and roll you need

This is another one of those albums that I always knew I needed but could never really find. I don't really listen to a lot of music that sounds like this, but something about it is just so satisfying. I think of Kurt Vile's music as being great rock and roll on a personal level. It's also totally psychedelic in a very spacious way, and Kurt's singing style gives it a great edge.
Starter songs - Monkey, He's Alright, Inside Looking Out
Start with those so you get the idea, and soon you'll fall in love with the whole album.

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