Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Top 100 Songs of 2011 -- #36: "The Lament of Coronado Brown" -- Pearl and the Beard

After a stellar debut in 2009 entitled God Bless Your Weary Soul Amanda Richardson, Brooklyn indie folk three-piece Pearl and the Beard returned in 2011 with Killing the Darlings, after having road-tested much of the album's material in the months preceding its May release.

The record found PatB trying some different things compared to their debut, opting for an altogether less sunny experience in favor of Americana, different song structures, and even more eclectic instrumentation than ever before.

"The Lament of Coronado Brown" sticks out as one of Pearl and the Beard's best. A low-tempo, subdued performance in comparison to the band's usual fare, "Lament" is, put simply, simultaneously one of the loveliest and most heartbreaking songs released in 2011.

Pearl and the Beard features three vocalists, all astounding in their own rights, but with "Lament," it is cellist Emily Hope Price that shines -- both vocally and musically. Along with her sweet, impassioned voice, there's the dulcet tones of her cello, the lead instrument of the song. The performance exudes melancholy.

By the time Price's cello hits its final note, you'll instantly be back for more. Despite the song's intrinsic beauty, you can't help but feel a bit down after listening -- but it's an addicting down. Plus, it's followed on the album by the uproariously fun "Douglas Douglass." The contrast is superb, and it gets me every time.

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