A Dotted Line
Reviewed by: Lara Supan
Normally, the words “rock out” and “mandolin” don’t seem to go in the same sentence. For those of you who know Nickel Creek, you know these words can go quite well together.
After a seven year hiatus, Nickel Creek does not disappoint with A Dotted Line. It’s filled with super energetic and fiercely harmonized “progressive acoustic” tunes. Every song has its own unique sound, spanning the spectrum from the laid back and beautifully harmonized “Christmas Eve” to the no holds barred instrumental hoe-down “Elephant in the Corn”, complete with a pretty sweet upright bass solo. When you think they’ve given everything they’ve got, they break out of cover of Mother Mother’s “Hayloft”, which sounds like a combo of acoustic folk and EDM. Amazingly, it works.
In a society where harmony and prodigious instrumental skill has given way to electronic manipulation and auto tune, Nickel Creek’s sound is a breath of fresh air. Mandolinist and 2012 MacArthur Fellow, Chris Thile, is one of the most versatile and musical artists in folk music these days, and it feels good to see him back with his cohorts of, as of today, 25 years.
All in all, The Dotted Line is a great return to what we all missed for the last seven years- a tight, full of life sound with rich harmonies and some rockin’ acoustic string playing. Welcome back y’all!