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Lambchop's down-tempo mixture of melancholia and what is occasionally country music is a welcome relief from "Alternative Country." The Nashville-based band began recording in the early '90s with a few singles that showed a band more interested in guitar pop than twang. By the time they released their debut, I Hope You're Sitting Down in 1994, the band's lineup had amassed to almost a dozen people and were well-versed in the dark, pedal steel-laden aspects of the best parts of country music. Their well-orchestrated material centers around singer/songwriter Kurt Wagner's tales of death and deodorizers and other subjects that would seem comical coming from most singers. Within Wagner's staid delivery and the band's striking arrangements, there is a sense of lyrical calm and musical grandeur that never veers into assault. On Lambchop's newer releases, both What Another Man Spills and Nixon, the band has found the natural relationship between country and orchestrated, classic Soul music.
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