Album Review
Kevin Devine - Between The Concrete &... Album Cover

Kevin Devine - Between The Concrete &...

Reviewed by
Kevin DevineBetween The Concrete & Clouds
Release Date: September 13, 2011
Record Label: Razor & Tie
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
If I had to describe Kevin Devine in one word, it would be “consistency.” 6 albums deep now and there are no signs of Devine slowing down, as one could argue that his 2009 release Brother's Blood as the pinnacle of his discography. So yes, Devine has been consistent in his excellent songwriting, but has never been complacent. He has never written the same record twice and he continues this on his Razor & Tie debut Between The Concrete & Clouds, an album that incorporates a true full-band sound.

It's evident immediately in the 90's fuzz of opening track “Off-Screen,” which swells into fantastic chorus. The easy-going “First Hit” is classic Devine, and has an infectious fuzzy flow with just a tinge of synth. In fact, a lot of Between The Concrete & Clouds is laid back, as Devine realizes he doesn't always have to shout to get his point across. Tracks like “Sleepwalking” and “Wait Out The Wreck” are reminiscent of The Shins' finer moments, while the folky “The City Has Left You” is bound to be a fan favorite. The lively “A Story, A Sneak” - a narrative of an older man dating a younger girl and his reservations about doing so – is paced by pulsating drums and buzzing guitar chords.

Lyrically, Devine explores the theme of alienation and uncertainty throughout Between The Concrete & Clouds, most notably on “11-17” and album closer “I Used To Be Someone.” With its ambient setting and dark undertones, “11-17” sonically stands out from the rest of the album but still tackles the album's underlying theme, as Devine asks, “So what if your truth is just another lie.” The closer contains some of Devine's best songwriting yet, as the song has a sense of detachment yet maintains a haunting intensity throughout. The repetitive pulse of the barely-there piano chord creates a lingering feeling that slowly rises into a full-on crescendo of noise, courtesy of The Goddamn Band.

Between The Concrete & Clouds is an introspective look into Devine's psyche, mixing detached worldview confusion with fuzzy overtones. The aggression heard on Brother's Blood has now been replaced by the tension on Clouds. Once again, Kevin Devine has written an unique album while staying true to his songwriting roots.

Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 40
02:50 PM on 09/20/11
Henry Ferreira
User Info.
Henry Ferreira's Avatar
Great. I might just check that guy's work!
03:53 PM on 09/20/11
all hope lies in Doom
User Info.
xapplexpiex's Avatar
Great. I might just check that guy's work!
Start with Make the Clocks Move.
03:59 PM on 09/20/11
Ian Walker
wes craven with x cravings.
User Info.
Ian Walker's Avatar
Can't wait to check this out. Good work Drew.
05:38 PM on 09/20/11
Henry Ferreira
User Info.
Henry Ferreira's Avatar
Start with Make the Clocks Move.
Thanks dude, I will!
07:23 PM on 09/20/11
Jeremy Aaron
User Info.
Jeremy Aaron's Avatar
I feel so out of touch when it comes to KevDev. Put Your Ghost to Rest is an absolute favorite of mine. Everything is just so perfect about it, not to mention songs like "Just Stay", "Less Yesterday, More Today" and "Me and My Friends" seemed to reflect exactly where I was at in 2006 and for the most part still resonate today. I can't say any of his other albums really make me feel one way or the other about them, this new one included. Not bad by any stretch, but completely forgettable for me, unfortunately.
07:31 PM on 09/20/11
Regular Member
User Info.
Quijiba's Avatar
Great album. Not the biggest Devine fan but this album moved me.

PS: I believe its "Devine has written "A"unique album while staying true to his songwriting roots
Pet peve, had to point it out sorry lol
09:10 PM on 09/20/11
Zack Zarrillo
User Info.
Zack Zarrillo's Avatar
I definitely prefer Brother's Blood, but this is a very solid record. Not really sure where I place it in his discography.
09:47 PM on 09/20/11
Ari Christos
blowin on that endo
User Info.
Ari Christos's Avatar
11-17 and I Used to Be are two of the best songs KD's written. Certainly worth listening to just for those two moments.
10:20 PM on 09/20/11
Jesus rides beside me
User Info.
IceAge/HeatWave's Avatar
A Story, A Sneak is my favorite off of this album. definitely his most consistent set of songs. top ten of the year material.
10:37 PM on 09/20/11
So it goes...
User Info.
roche's Avatar
Great album.
11:17 PM on 09/20/11
Registered User
User Info.
Jlee@thedisco's Avatar
i came to say that when i first heard this album i was a little disappointed, but after seeing him on his most recent tour and repeated listens it may actually be my favorite kdev record
11:42 PM on 09/20/11
they knew exactly what happened.
User Info.
notoaststereo's Avatar
it's certainly different than his other albums, but different isn't bad. i get a very 90's vibe from it, kind of like heatmiser. which i love.
12:38 AM on 09/21/11
Pudge Halter
Registered User
User Info.
Pudge Halter's Avatar
Start with Make the Clocks Move.
Agreed, to an extent. Start with Make the Clocks Move (or Put Your Ghost to Rest) if you like his folksy/acoustic stuff. Start with Brother's Blood if you want the darker, Brand New-esque feel that I feel he picked up from his time with Jesse Lacey and Andy Hull. Between the Concrete & Clouds symbolizes, to me at least, a combination of those two sounds. Lyrics are really the only constant; he's a really strong lyricist.
03:02 AM on 09/21/11
easy come and easy go, whatever
User Info.
Jeff_Ryan's Avatar
If I had to describe Kevin Devine in one word, it would be “consistency.”

I feel like "consistency" should be replaced with "consistent". Other than that, good review and great album as expected

Search News
Release Dates
Best New Music
Submit News
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
Encore Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
Encore Podcast on iTunes
Encore on Overcast
AP.net on Tumblr
Chorus.fm | @jason_tate