Puppet to the Man
Kurt Vile's really starting to sound like an ol' classic rocker: "In my day I was young and crazy/ sure I didn't know sh*t, but now I'm lazy," he confesses. Along with old-soul lamenting, Vile puts his ace guitar work into focus, chasing away the lo-fi fog of albums past. With touches of Neil Young and Tom Petty, Smoke Ring For My Halo has Vile sounding like a lone man on the open road; you can almost hear the wind whizzing through his acoustic. A resigned melancholy seems to circle that titular halo: "My whole life's been one living gag," he sings, though seemingly with one big smirk.