Andrew Duplantis & the Unfaithfuls

Record review

Texas Platters

Andrew Duplantis & the Unfaithfuls

Colorblind (OJI)

Andrew Duplantis should know from intelligent roots rock; he plays bass in Son Volt. Colorblind, his second LP with the Unfaithfuls – so named, one imagines, because all six members are in too many other bands to list – works in similar tones, somber but never dour, adding deep shades of the many other groups crowding his résumé: Jon Dee Graham, Alejandro Escovedo, Tia Carrera. Some of its 10 songs bend the strings harder than others, but all express a common mood: the wayward soul by turns surprised and dismayed at his shortcomings but always honest about them. Duplantis doesn't quite approach Graham or Escovedo's plainspoken and often harsh truths, evincing a more ambivalent state of mind that catalogs popular terms for "crazy" with the same foreboding as inching his way through a breakup or likening loneliness to being underwater. As such, his found-love songs aren't much cheerier than their lost-love counterparts, but when paired with the Unfaithfuls' hand-in-glove arrangements – country-blues spare on "Nuts," Crazy Horse crunchy on "Underwater" – they provide the kind of comfort songwriters know will suffice when no warm embrace is at hand. (CD release: Friday, Sept. 15, Momos)

***.5

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