Bishop Allen: The Broken String

Bishop Allen: The Broken String

Like fellow indie tunesmiths Stephin Merritt and Sufjan Stevens, Bishop Allen's Justin Rice and Christian Rudder get inspired by forcing themselves to be prolific. Last year the Harvard-bred duo put aside its belated follow-up to 2003's self-released Charm School and set about recording a different EP each month. Bishop Allen ended up with four albums worth of new material, and The Broken String is a greatest hits sampler of sorts, with nine reworked tracks from the EPs plus a handful of new songs. And it really is great, striding confidently from one high point to the next, with expansive yet homemade-sounding folk-rock songs like "Click, Click, Click, Click" and "Corazon" oozing scruffily charming earnestness. Sometimes quality and quantity can coexist nicely.

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