Part Traveling Wilburys project, part interplanetary exploration, Monsters of Folk has a few rough edges, yet sticks as a cohesive whole that rocks far beyond it’s "folk" parameters.
The tribe of Mike Mogis, Jim James, Conor Oberst, and M. Ward gets the party started with a dreamy, soul/funk intro on "Dear God (Sincerely M. O. F.)." Pure pop explosions hit on the exultant sing-a-long, "Say Please." From that point, individual strengths take over as Ward’s magical take on the Elvis Presley inspired "Whole Lotta Losin’" has him teaming with Oberst for a magical rough and tumble chorus. James turns inward with a dazzling piece of folk with rhythm-and-blues charm on the riveting "The Right Place." Oberst’s dark ruminations on life’s travels dominate both "Temazcal" and "Man Named Truth."
Recorded and mixed by Mogis at ARC in Omaha, Nebraska and Shangri-La Studio in Malibu, California, Monsters of Folk combines the best elements of each performer’s instrumental abilities and compositional strengths to deliver one of the brightest albums of the year.
Monsters of Folk is out now on Shangri-La.