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The Moondoggies won many hearts with their amazing second album, Tidelands. Its sound blended country-rock and harmonies in a way not seen since Harvest and Deja Vu. It was an impressive record that also set the bar quite high for its follow-up. Thankfully, with Adios I’m A Ghost, not only have they matched the high standard set by Tidelands, but they’ve surpassed it. While their sound remains rooted in the same sweet reverb-and-harmonies recipe, they’ve darkened things quite a bit. The influence? There’s a little bit of Bruce Springsteen, especially on the gorgeous ballad “Pride,” there’s a bit of My Morning Jacket on “A Lot To Give,” and—most surprisingly—there’s even a Cure influence to be found on “Annie Turn On The Lights,” with its “I-hope-the-lawyers-aren’t-listening” nod to “Lovesong.” But the real treat is the ending jam session “Don’t Ask Why,” an upbeat, raucous closing rock number that helps to clear the atmosphere of the darkness and melancholy that preceded it. They’ve presented the world is a mature, complex album that proves an already-great band’s sound was no fluke, and the amalgam of The Moondoggies’ expertly written nods to the past and more contemporary fare never sounds like pastiche. Adios I’m A Ghost is, simply put, one of the finest musical experiences of 2013.
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