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The Countdown: Top 5 Kevin Devine Releases

Posted by: Drew Beringer (10/17/13)
On Tuesday, Kevin Devine released his seventh and eighth full-length albums (check Ryan Dennehy's Bulldozer review and my Bubblegum review). In continuing with our Kevin Devine Week, I am counting down my five favorite KevDev releases and opening up a discussion thread about the man's discography - what are your favorite releases and songs from one of the best songwriters in the scene? So check out my list in the replies and stay tuned for our podcast with Kevin tomorrow.
    
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 52
01:02 PM on 10/17/13
#2
Drew Beringer
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5) Between The Concrete and Clouds (September 13, 2011; Razor & Tie)
NoteUndoubtedly the most underrated record in Devine's discography, Between The Concrete and Clouds features some of my all-time favorite tracks of his: the infectious "First Hit," the fuzzy "Off-Screen," and the ;ively “A Story, A Sneak.” While overlooked upon its initial release, I do believe this will grow into a fan favorite in due time.


4) Make The Clocks Move (October 7, 2003; Triple Crown)
NoteDevine's second full-length and Triple Crown debut is what got the boulder that is his solo career rolling. Angsty and full of heartbreaking arrangements, Make The Clocks Move contains some of the most-loved songs in Devine's discography. "Ballgame" is a dazzling opener while "Longer That I'm Out Here" is a fantastic full-band effort. But it all comes to a head with the beautiful closer "Thanks," which is an early showcase of the great songwriter he was turning into.


3) Split The Country, Split The Street (May 10, 2005; Triple Crown)
NoteThis is the album that turned casual fans into Kevin Devine fans - largely thanks to the enormous, anthemic opening track "Cotton Crush" (having Jesse Lacey contribute some vocals didn't hurt either). While that song is easily an all-time top 5 KevDev song, Split The Country, Split The Street features some of his best work. Devine stated that his third studio album was more bi-polar - it had some of his most aggressive stuff along with softer moments that featured the violin and glockenspiel. "No Time Flat" is a subdued yet jarring semi-acoustic number where the man gets political, while "No One Else's Problem" is a captivating listen.


2) Brother's Blood (April 28, 2009; Favorite Gentlemen)
NoteDevine's best work until recently, Brother's Blood was his first album released after being rejected by the major label machine. Favorite Gentlemen put it out and features a fiery and passionate Devine with something to prove. The haunting "Carnival," the bristling title track, and the extremely catchy "I Could Be With Anyone" are all highlights. But the true high point of the album and maybe Devine's career (at that moment) was the aggressive "Another Bag of Bones." It builds and builds while Devine's politically-charged lyrics enthrall your ears. When the guitars pick up and blister around the three minute mark, you are placed in an aural delight. This album is proof that the major label turn of his career wouldn't phase his confidence as a songwriter, as Brother's Blood is Devine's most assured release in his discography.


1) Bubblegum (October 15, 2013; Devinyl)
NoteI'm sure I'll get some shade from commentators for having one of his most recent albums ranked as his best one. But honestly, when I first heard Bubblegum in the summer, I was blown away. This is what Kevin Devine has been building towards over the last decade plus. Tracks like "Fiscal Cliff," "Nobel Prize" and "Sick of Words" build off the aggression Devine displayed in earlier releases, only maximized. Then you hear a song like "Red Bird" that showcases the growth Devine has made along with the attitude to try new techniques and sounds. It's a jaw-dropping listening experience and the beginning of Kevin Devine's most exciting chapter in his career.
01:09 PM on 10/17/13
#3
BobbyBlakeMonro
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No, Put Your Ghost To Rest? I feel like that's when Kevin Devine really came into his own as a songwriter/musician, and would even argue it's his best release.

I would say:

1. Put Your Ghost To Rest
2. Brothers Blood
3. Bubblegum
4. Split the Country, Split the Street
5. Make the Clocks Move
01:15 PM on 10/17/13
#4
kolby182
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Albums:
5. Bulldozer
4. Bubblegum
3. BTCAC
2. Brother's Blood
1. Put Your Ghosts To Rest

Songs:
10. I Don't Care About Your Band
9. Noble Prize
8. The Burning City Smoking
7. Damned Old Dad
6. Me and My Friends
5. Another Bag Of Bones
4. 11.17
3. Ballgame
2. Brother's Blood
1. You'll Only End Up Joining Them
01:18 PM on 10/17/13
#5
bunneh.
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No, Put Your Ghost To Rest? I feel like that's when Kevin Devine really came into his own as a songwriter/musician, and would even argue it's his best release.

I would say:

1. Put Your Ghost To Rest
2. Brothers Blood
3. Bubblegum
4. Split the Country, Split the Street
5. Make the Clocks Move
While Put Your Ghost to Rest got me into him initially, Brother's Blood is still my favorite KDev record. It will always have a special place with me because I bought it from him directly at a show in Buffalo after it's release. I'll never forget that show! Bubblegum is a very close second, while "Little Bulldozer" is one of the catchiest, stuck-in-your-head tracks in recent memory.
01:47 PM on 10/17/13
#6
TheZeroKid
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I made a little "best of" compilation spanning Circle Gets The Square to Between The Concrete And The Clouds but I'm interested in really getting into his discography. I'll use this thread as a start lol. I love his work in Bad Books. I haven't been able to hear Bubblegum and Bulldozer but is there a distinct difference between the sounds? Is one more soft and acoustic and is more more electric and rockin'?
01:58 PM on 10/17/13
#7
kolby182
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I made a little "best of" compilation spanning Circle Gets The Square to Between The Concrete And The Clouds but I'm interested in really getting into his discography. I'll use this thread as a start lol. I love his work in Bad Books. I haven't been able to hear Bubblegum and Bulldozer but is there a distinct difference between the sounds? Is one more soft and acoustic and is more more electric and rockin'?
When I first heard him talk about making the 2, he said one would be more acoustic and one would be louder rock. After hearing them both, I wouldn't consider Bulldozer to be acoustic at all. It's definitely less heavy than Bubblegum, but I would call them both rock albums. They are both on Spotify if you have it. If you don't, get it. It's the perfect vehicle for hearing free music.
02:19 PM on 10/17/13
#8
TheDemosRock
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Applause for putting Bubblegum out there first.
I'm sure my rankings will change once the new ones have had time to settle and their true impact on my life becomes more apparent, but I'd put it at #1 for now as well.
02:20 PM on 10/17/13
#9
Ska Senanake
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I have yet to hear the new 2 but my favorite is Brother's Blood. There is such a nice Neil Young vibe to that record. All of Everything Erased is my favorite KD track and I feel it gets overlooked a lot for how brilliant it is.
02:31 PM on 10/17/13
tcemoo
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I honestly feel bad even ranking them because I love all of his work. That said, gun to my head, i'd probably say....

1) Brothers Blood
2) Between the Concrete and Clouds
3) Put Your Ghost to Rest
4) Make the Clocks Move
5) Split the Country, Split the Street
6) Circle Takes the Square

I'm not sure where Bubblegum and Bulldozer will rank, yet, though I think at the moment I'd put them at #2 and #6 respectively, though I feel like Bulldozer has a lot of potential to move further up (I haven't really had much time for it with how often I've been rockin' Bubblegum).

As for my 5 favorite Kevin Devine songs... I'm not going to order them, but Murphy's Song, People Are So Fickle, Damned Ole Dad, The First Hit, and Just Stay would probably be up there. Though if we're also counting Bad Books I'd HAVE to include Holding Down the Laughter and No Sides, two of my favorite songs of his.
02:51 PM on 10/17/13
HazeLitRise
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I was just thinking about this the other day. here's mine:

1. Put your ghost to rest
2. Bubblegum
3. Make the clocks move
4. Split the country, split the streets
5. Brothers' blood

Cotton Crush has to be my favorite song, it's just so powerful. Private First Class definitely ranks up there as well, and both Brooklyn Boy and Just Stay will always be personal favorites. The Nervous Energies performance of 11-17 would make the list, but the album version doesn't quite do the song justice.
02:53 PM on 10/17/13
zbrmike79
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1. Make the Clocks Move
2. Brothers Blood
3. Split the Country, Split the Streets
4. Bulldozer
5. Between the Concrete and the Clouds

stickin' to my guns!
03:18 PM on 10/17/13
Ragnar
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not including the new ones, too soon...

1. Put Your Ghost To Rest (very cohesive. except I can't handle the non-acoustic version of You'll Only End Up Joining Them)
2. Brother's Blood (I mean, how do you even talk about the title track? It's a career high for sure. I remember reading the lyrics and knowing I couldn't listen to any recorded versions before I saw it live, it'd be too much emotion)
3. Make The Clocks Move (yes, Ballgame, point of entry, but like You're My Incentive, or Tapdance? Ahh, so great)
4. Split The Country, Split the Street (so much heartbreak, yet so much good.)
5. Between the Concrete & Clouds (I like really specific songs on this one, but not so much the whole album. Though if the singles had been included, it would've been more cohesive - that is, Luxembourg & Part of The Whole)

Bonuses: She Stayed As Steam record - have probably played it 400 times, just for that song alone.
Bad Books - Holding Down The Laughter, Mesa AZ, It Never Stops... am glad he plays some of these during KD shows, because he wrote them and they're the greatest.

Songs, impossible to rate, but start with all those above and add the refrain of I Used To Be Someone, the howling live versions of Carnival, Another Bag of Bones, the quiet sorrow of Lord I Know We Don't Talk and Alabama Acres and Yr Damned Ol Dad, that break before the screaming part in Yr Husband, and on and on.

I'm so thankful for Kevin and his amazing music.
03:23 PM on 10/17/13
InaGreendase
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My top 5 would be at least 80% records that start with "B".
03:28 PM on 10/17/13
kennyrules
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Put Your Ghost to Rest is his standout album for me. I love almost all of his work but that's his most cohesive. That being said, I think all his albums (aside from maybe Circle Gets the Square) are fantastic.

1. Put Your Ghost to Rest
2. Split the Country, Split the Streets
3. Make the Clocks Move
4. Brother's Blood
5. Through the Concrete and Clouds

Not sure where to rank the new ones yet.
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