Lies on the Prize
Why is it that the most original and influential musicians in this world labour in relative obscurity, squeaking by on a pittance, while lesser artists get all the acclaim? It shouldn't take a shout-out from someone like Elvis Costello (who famously name-dropped Ron Sexsmith) or being on a movie soundtrack (few knew Elliott Smith before Good Will Hunting) for an artist as talented and original as Mike Feuerstack to finally get his due. But the pessimist in me says it will---'cuz no matter how great a record Feuerstack makes, it will always be too original, too masterful and too poetic for the collective masses to take notice of it. Lies on the Prize is exactly that kind of record. Produced by Arcade Fire's Jeremy Gara, Lies has a delicate balance of finely tuned songcraft and arrangements. Although you wouldn\'t be wrong to say this is Feuerstack's rock record (the up-tempo '(Not) Superstitious' and 'Blue Sun' leading the charge), for the most part the songs stick closer to the wistful and hauntingly beautiful end of the spectrum. Just as 'Birds and Bees' (from The Silence Show) used to put a lump in your throat, 'Tone Deaf Birds' and 'Fire Alarm' will make you quiver. The disc's marquee track is its lead-off, 'Dollar Signs,' which, with its masterful eight-bar guitar intro, could be a career-defining song----if it fell on the right ears.