Tortoise - Tortoise
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An album that not only set the tone for the new Chicago prog rock, but also cemented the musical niche for Thrill Jockey Records and Tortoise. Here, multi-instrumentalists John McEntire, Dan Bitney, John Herdon, Douglas McCombs, and Bundy K. Brown share equal responsibility and trust in each other, pouring out a thick stew of meditative grooves, light production experiments, and rusty guitar-string ambience - the likes of which have rarely sounded so approachable, but this is not to say the album is a sellout leap into commercialism. There are a couple head scratchers and murky moments that fail to make much of an impact, but the quintet have spun such a rich web of mood and personality that any fall from grace barely changes altitude.