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Vic Chesnutt - Skitter on Take-Off Album Cover

Vic Chesnutt - Skitter on Take-Off

Reviewed by
7.4
Vic ChesnuttSkitter on Take-Off
Release Date: October 6, 2009
Record Label: Vapor Records
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
I sometimes wonder how we went from telling stories to writing hooks. Where did we go from campfire songs to fire breathing live shows? Is the idea of great storytellers in music gone, and just a show on VH1?

For some, you may not know who Vic Chesnutt is. About a few months ago, neither did I. I was told to check him out. I read about his background, and delved into his work - and there's quite a bit at that. He was involved in a car accident in 1983 which has since then left him a paraplegic. Chesnutt, who has been said to be writing music since he was a kid, has collaborated with many artists including Elf Power and Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band.

On his second album this year (see also: At the Cut), Chesnutt gets rid of the background and creates a more intimate blues throwback with Skitter on Take-Off. A man, his guitar and some stories.

The album's opening tracks are the strongest. Though a few lines may seem a bit blunt, Chesnutt is blatantly laying out stories of sorrow and fear. As the album progresses, his knack for being lyrically literal may be unlikeable to some. His songwriting style is obviously not for those seeking chorus lines and pop sensibility. It's about listening to poetic chord progressions. Sure, "My New Life" and "Worst Friend" may be just too straightforward for some of us, but it feels honest.

Pure Chesnutt fans are going to love this stripped down version that hasn't been seen for some time. Others may want to start with this year's At the Cut, or last year's North Star Deserter - Chesnutt with a little bulk behind him. There's a lot, even the acclaimed About to Choke, that I haven't even had the time to absorb by the singer-songwriter, but longevity is something to look at, and Chesnutt certainly isn't giving up telling his stories just yet. Some of them are worth listening to.

Recommended If You LikeDaniel Johnston's Don't Be Scared; Destroyer's We'll Build Them a Golden Bridge; William Elliott Whitmore's Ashes to Dust
 
Displaying posts 1 - 9 of 9
05:48 AM on 11/10/09
#2
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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Should be a higher rating. Guy is a living legend.
08:22 AM on 11/10/09
#3
Adam Pfleider
wait. what were we talking about?
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Should be a higher rating. Guy is a living legend.
understandable. just don't think the album is for everyone, and I think his work with a backing band is better. After a week with this album, I felt the same way I did about Dax Rigg's solo...some songs I was really about, and others I was lbeginning to lose nterest in.
08:55 AM on 11/10/09
#4
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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understandable. just don't think the album is for everyone, and I think his work with a backing band is better. After a week with this album, I felt the same way I did about Dax Rigg's solo...some songs I was really about, and others I was lbeginning to lose nterest in.
To me Chesnutt far trumps Dax Riggs. But that's just my take.
09:54 AM on 11/10/09
#5
Christian Wagner
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Isn't Chestnutt related to Fugazi somehow?
01:37 PM on 11/10/09
#6
Adam Pfleider
wait. what were we talking about?
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To me Chesnutt far trumps Dax Riggs. But that's just my take.
for sure! that's just the first comparison I thought of. I think it goes back to me liking the full sounding Elliott Smith stuff rather than just him and guitar...just think it's my taste...that's not to say stripped down isn't as moving as a full sounding band...I think I'm rambling...
01:52 PM on 11/10/09
#7
Gregory Robson
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for sure! that's just the first comparison I thought of. I think it goes back to me liking the full sounding Elliott Smith stuff rather than just him and guitar...just think it's my taste...that's not to say stripped down isn't as moving as a full sounding band...I think I'm rambling...
Dude, I agree. I like Elliott with a backing band too. For it just works better. But I'm in the minority!
02:12 PM on 11/10/09
#8
Adam Pfleider
wait. what were we talking about?
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Dude, I agree. I like Elliott with a backing band too. For it just works better. But I'm in the minority!
YEAH FOR BEING IN THE MINORITY!!!!
05:26 PM on 11/10/09
#9
HometownHero
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Going to have to check this out

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