Pedestrian Verse (Deluxe Edition)
The fourth full-length by Frightened Rabbit is a powerhouse of shambolic style. Boasting a bright, well-balanced, and textured sound, it staggers from quiet moments to catchy indie rock to brief vignettes bookended by full-bodied songs with big choruses. Despite the self-deprecating title, the lyrics are keen and expressive and full of confessions cloaked in imagery, a specialty of singer Scott Hutchinson. Dark moods and foul deeds abound, yet somehow never drag the songs down into a mire of maudlin expression. Instead, we get catharsis, escape, and honest assessments of emotional upheaval delivered in a honeyed Scottish accent. The band’s rich sound includes layers of horns, strings, piano, and organ balanced by booming drums and brittle guitar. Throughout the album, Hutchison freely points out his own faults, both in his character and his art—but listeners may have a hard time finding the latter among these brilliant gems.