I would walk 500 MILES for this album

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson (2008, Say Hey Records)

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson (eleven syllables!!) is a singer & songwriter & badass from Brooklyn via Portland, OR. Mbar released his self-titled (eleven syllables!!) debut album on Say Hey records in July of this year, after over two years of writing and recording with Grizzly Bear’s Chris Thomas. And it is very good.

Lyrically, mbar is really a poet (ala Neil Young). He sings and warbles things we’ve heard or felt before – things about love, death, debt, getting wasted, being happy, not being happy. But his perspective is unique, translated into lyrics that are at once brilliantly simple and powerfully expressive. In his writing, mbar is both sensitive and sarcastic (the opening line of the album’s first track buriedfed is “this is my last song about myself”), and filled with a realistic kind of wisdom that comes only from personal experience (“Oh, growing old / I’m not sure I want to stay alive / It’s so expensive” from the debtor). While some of mbar’s stories are heavy, they are seemingly kissed by the sun – the mood is nearly celebratory and just barely triumphant.

Yet Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson is much more than a poignant singer-songwriter make out fest with a microphone. Essentially, the mbar’s sound is a beautiful marriage between bluesy-folk and grungy psychedelia. It is only made awesomer by the wonders of basic sound effects (think reverb, distortion, multi track vocals) and the musical talents of indie love children Daniel Rossen (Grizzly Bear) and Kyp Malone (TV on the Radio). The album soars (woodfriend) and sails (buriedfed) and flies kites in a soft breeze (above the sun), and chills reflectively on a street bench (my good luck), taking us on every step with every beat. As a whole, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson is a great listen and worthy of many. Tap your feet while you contemplate and (stick it to) your existence.

Visit mbar on the internet!

See what else say hey records has to say!

Order limited edition mbar black/white colored vinyl at academy fight song!


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  1. John37 Said:

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    I would walk 500 MILES for this album | The Couch

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