Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Mar 28th, 2017

C.K. Flach: Empty Mansions

C.K. Flach
Empty Mansions

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We get an indie folk concept album in C.K. Flach’s new 10-song Empty Mansions. Heavy rolling bass runs, jangly acoustic guitar and big snare starts us off on the low growl love song of “Lazarus” where I was immediately reminded of Lou Reed’s Berlin (not a bad comparison, believe me). “Boxcar Dreaming” follows, informed by duet harmony vocals and piano plinking… another lament of love. “Munich” (again stained with that Berlin-vibe) has a noisy acoustic and Flach looking in from his lyrics. Plinky keys and a high-end bass (a sound heard often here) slips and slides on “Queen Caroline,” while the title flows into big drama with piano and strings, those male/female harmony vocals in places and Flach’s best statement song here I feel. His low voice sounds very sexy indeed on what I feel is probably the best song on this album. “Machine Gun,” with its harmonica main melody line, is pure folk protest, a la Neil Young and Rodriguez, while a weird solo spoken “Firmament” ends the collection. It’s nice poetry, the speaker slightly challenging with his pronouncements, and is a good way to end. Producing, composing, and pretty much playing everything on Empty Mansions, C.K. Flach certainly presents a single artist’s equally singular statement. I feel this is a concept album more on subject than on narrative, which does separate it from something like the aforementioned Berlin (or something like The Wall), but doesn’t lessen Flach’s intent. Empty Mansions is very good stuff indeed, a deep reflective mood-maker and a folky gem.


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C.K. Flach: Empty Mansions