Sebadoh sort of fizzled in the late ’90s, and the Folk Implosion was always a barely .500 team. But the spottiness of his recent work only makes Lou Barlow’s Emoh better. The veteran misanthrope has quietly crafted some of his most cohesive work to date. “We were simply buried alive,” he sings in “Puzzle,” “And then you left me/If only in your eyes.” It’s a classic Lou lyric. But instead of tape hiss, its Richard Thompson elegance is accompanied by gorgeous cello. “Caterpillar Girl” and “Confused” are kicky, dynamic indie pop songs, the kind of material 21st century Beck is lauded for writing when Lou’s been doing it for years. And while the album’s title jabs at one of music’s more ridiculous terms, Emoh is more important in reverse. “Holding Back the Year,” “Monkey Begun” and the
apt “Home” are structural cousins to past work, but resonate with the thoughts, feelings and words of a more mature person. He’s still sardonic, selfish and plaintive all at once; still most comfortable spinning his fractured relationship poetry over the spare keen of an acoustic guitar. But Emoh buffs those components’ surfaces, so we can see Lou Barlow’s adult face in the reflection.
Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.