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12/18/11 at 01:40 PM by Blake Solomon
Charlie Simpson - Young Pilgrim

For a while, under my avatar (is that what they still call those things? It feels VERY 2005), it said that I, or at least my internet persona, was a Young Pilgrim. I suppose I am not the only person who connected with that namesake. Regardless of the fact that I found this album during a move, it can mean a lot whether you're never getting out of that godforsaken small town. Being a pilgrim can represent a lot of things, most of them, obviously, are mental. As sad as it sounds, the Internet has given us the ability to be pilgrims in many ways. Take me for instance, I discovered music. It gave my life more than a little purpose. And I think what Charlie Simpson does so well, is make me feel alright about the pursuit of, well, whatever. It's ok to not even know what you're after, I think, as long as you realize you're after something.

So different than his work in Fightstar, Simpson shows a masterful use of tonal shifts and intelligent songwriting. There's nothing here overly trite, as everything is created in a way to make us think. Uncomfortable as it may seem, aren't we always at our best when there's more on the line? Or, at least, don't we always feel compelled to do our best? I think it can be easy to enjoy music but not absorb it, especially if you're very into a specific type of music. And even though on songs like "Suburbs" or "Parachutes" or "Hold On", we essentially here acoustic singer/songwriter tunes, they are presented so carefully and in such orchestral fashion that it almost becomes a feeling in our gut that what's going on here is no Whole Foods commercial puff piece. What we get on Young Pilgrim is a dude with a vision that is simple but hard to follow through on: We are all here to figure something out. And if we don't, were we ever really here at all?

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