Home Read Classic Album Review: Damien Jurado | I Break Chairs

Classic Album Review: Damien Jurado | I Break Chairs

The moody troubadour turns on the lights, opens the windows, plugs in & rocks out.


This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


When last we encountered Damien Jurado, he was slumped over in a dark room by himself with an acoustic guitar, moaning sad folky tales about the down and out. For his latest CD, he’s turning on the lights, opening the windows, plugging in and rocking out.

I Break Chairs, as you might expect, is a more aggressive and vibrant offering than its predecessor. Backed by his solidly built, ruggedly roots-rock band Gathered in Song, Jurado packs a whole new sonic punch — a little Bruce Springsteen, a little Steve Earle, a bit of Crazy Horse and a dash Seattle grunge — on gritty cuts like Paperwings, Dancing and Castles. It’s a perfect match for the emotional punch of his superb lyrics, which thankfully haven’t changed their tune much. With his throaty croon and husky rasp, Jurado still knows how to spin a dark tale of gloom, alienation, self-destruction and hearts that break like chairs. Only now he knows how to rock the house, too.


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