Beaver Nelson

Texas platters

Phases and Stages

Beaver Nelson

Motion (Freedom) Motion, as in swinging, seesawing, sliding. Beaver Nelson, Dad Who Rocks, has been spending a little too much time at the playground. A loving father, Nelson has taken that paternal instinct and put it into his music, where quite frankly, it sounds trite and frivolous. He's rocking the wrong cradle. The rightly beloved local singer-songwriter has built many houses in his lengthy career (2000's Little Brother and '02's Legends of the Super Heroes for starters), but Motion is the wolf in sheep's clothing. Opening with campfire sing-along "Let Us Build a Monument," Motion becomes increasingly puerile with "It Really Shouldn't Be So Hard" ("I was just trying to get to the other side." Chicken, anyone?). Even the presence of the unflinching Eliza Gilkyson on "Tell Me," the most mature cut on the album, does nothing to further Motion. In an unprecedented move, Nelson tracks reggae on "It Is There," to which only a toddler would bounce. Following "The Unfortunately Entitled Hey Little Mockingbird" (his title, not ours) is "Too Many Words": "Too many words about Frigidaires, too many words in my underwear." Because, what else rhymes with Frigidaire? Scrappy Jud Newcomb collaboration "Webs on a Hubcap" is a nice metaphor, but it's not enough to unlock the baby gate. With gospel elements, reggae, country, and rock merged into one album, Motion is Nelson at his happiest. Unfortunately, this baby needs changing.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Review: Johanna Heilman, <i>When We Were Electric</i>
Review: Johanna Heilman, When We Were Electric
When We Were Electric (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, June 30, 2023

Review: Large Brush Collection & Creekbed Carter Hogan, <i>Split</i>
Review: Large Brush Collection & Creekbed Carter Hogan, Split
Tape of tender lullabies envisions a warm refuge for queer people

Wayne Lim, May 12, 2023

More by Darcie Stevens
Phases & Stages
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
It's Blitz! (Record Review)

April 3, 2009

Spotlight: The Wooden Birds
Spotlight: The Wooden Birds
9pm, the Parish

March 20, 2009

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle