Mutual Admiration Society - self-titled

Mutual Admiration Society
Mutual Admiration Society

(Sugar Hill)

First Appeared in The Music Box, August 2004, Volume 11, #8

Written by John Metzger


That a collaboration between Glen Phillips and Nickel Creek is successful shouldn’t be much of a surprise simply because each is able to correct a deficiency within the other’s work. In the case of Nickel Creek, the group has been desperately in need of a more mature songwriter with a stronger sense of melody while Phillips, since the dissolution of Toad the Wet Sprocket, has been searching for both a backing band as well as a more organic, roots-oriented framework for his delicate pop songs. Together, the union, which has adopted the ever-so-appropriate name Mutual Admiration Society, forms a symbiotic relationship that builds upon the better aspects of the ensemble’s individual recordings. As a result, its eponymous debut is a resplendent, 11-track marvel, one which is shaded with plenty of subtle nuance that shimmers in all of the right places. Throughout the collection, the group paints its tranquil musings with the lightest of brush strokes as a hint of fiddle and a touch of mandolin caress tenderly finger-picked guitar. Like a painting, the songs reveal themselves gradually and with careful scrutiny, they blossom to reveal a fully utilized canvass. Indeed, the interaction among the musicians is splendid, and Phillips’ voice has never sounded better, particularly when surrounded by Nickel Creek’s pitch-perfect harmonies. One can only hope that this partnership isn’t short-lived because as it currently stands, Mutual Admiration Society is the pinnacle of either artist’s career. starstarstarstar

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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2004 The Music Box