This Bar Has No One Left
I suppose enough time has passed since the passing of the original Elliott Smith for followers of indie rock to start looking for the next one. There are more than a handful of possible contenders; Robert Deeble might be the most overlooked of these, but he also could stand to be one of the best. With members of Seattle's best orchestral pop bands backing him up, Deeble trawls dive bars and waterfronts with a sturdy, weathered slow-core that might seem more layered than Smith's best and most fragile work; but the root of simplicity is still here. "In a Cigarette Voice" spreads as glacially as Low in their prime, with a framework built from low string melody. "Clowned" continues with baroque pop encapsulated moments of rock. Deeble helps flesh out the Smith picture with a quiet rasp that usually gets submerged and lost within the musical ether. He even covers Smith's favorite Beatle, George Harrison, on the nice, but unremarkable "Long Long Long." "Face Down in Concrete" is a heavy-handed piano ballad that crushes through the verses and lilts into its choruses. It's the perfect mixture of sweet and sour. Not that Deeble doesn't deserve the press that becoming the "next Elliott Smith" would bring, but this track proves that he could carve out a niche for himself, as "the first Robert Deeble."