As a combination of new and unreleased tracks, one would expect some disjointedness, but the eight tracks on Minotaur work seamlessly together – a bit retrospective, a bit new. Labeled as a “mini-album,” it is almost as satisfying as a full-length. Many times, an EP can leave me feeling a bit incomplete, so I think The Clientele’s album was just the right length for a smaller release. Although Minotaur isn’t a leap forward and doesn’t push any boundaries, it does a wonderful job at subtly exploring the sound from their debut album to the present.
Minotaur is reminiscent of all the things I’ve grown to know and love about The Clientele. It’s melodic, sometimes eerie, lyrical, and a bit mysterious.
One track that stands out is “The Green Man,” which is a spoken word track towards the end of the album. It was written by Alasdair MacLean and posted on his blog in 2008. His breathy vocals, the indistinct sounds in the background, the ghostly imagery — all create a feeling that sticks with you. It’s one of MacLean’s shining moments, where he really puts his literary talents on show, and you are able to see that he’s not just a musician but a seasoned writer.
To accompany this mini-album, The Clientele is doing a short West Coast tour, starting in Seattle and ending in San Diego. So if you are wanting to hear more from this talented band, head out to one of their incredible live shows.