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Owen | Mike Kinsella | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop


by Tim Den

Owen is Mike Kinsella's first solo record, finding the multi-instrumentalist handling all songwriting and performance duties by himself. Most of us know him as the drummer of such famed Chicago outfits as Cap'n Jazz, Joan Of Arc, and most recently Owls (his brother, Tim Kinsellas [notice the added "s" which Tim legally added], sang in all three bands as well), but a few of us might know him best as the guitarist/bassist/vocalist/main songwriter of the now-defunct American Football (possibly the best Polyvinyl band besides Braid). A master skinsman and talented melodist, Kinsella (oh, I mean Owen) really goes the distance on this record. Having already proven his playing skills in his other bands, he chose to concentrate more on lo-fi acoustic songs here. The complicated time changes and arpeggios are sorely missed, but are made up for with gentle strums and soothing croons. Most of the songs blend together one after another, which makes the entire album feel like one long sequence, but somehow it doesn't feel repetitive or boring. The hushed tone of Kinsella's voice stirs up images of long lost secrets and diary confessions, making the music even more seductive.

Mike Kinsella is a man who has shown the world that he can play, write, and sing with the best of them. This Owen alter-ego will surely bring him the critical accolades he so deserves.
(PO Box 1885 Danville, IL 61834)

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