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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dead Man’s Bones: Dead Man’s Bones

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Dead Man’s Bones is a folky, morbid duo composed of actor Ryan Gosling and his friend Zach Shields. The pair — who met while Gosling was going out with his The Notebook co-star Rachel McAdams, and Shields was dating McAdams’ sister, Kayleen — set out to make a nonprofessional album where they played nearly all of the instruments and were backed by a Los Angeles children’s choir. Their resulting, eponymous debut at times features gloomy themes and eerie tremors similar to a Nick Cave album, but most of the time sounds completely unique and exhilarating. Prominently featuring cello and piano, the work builds slowly, peaking for the first time on “Buried in Water,” and then again later on “Pa Pa Power” — both of which feature the kids at their most angelic and sinister. Gosling’s and Shields’ own voices aren’t particularly distinctive, but they don’t have to be, as the music has its own surging, dark power. (Anti-) 4 out of 5 stars.

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