Kurt Vile, 'Bottle It In' – Review
by Zelia Bukhari
Bottle It In is an album full of jam-session-esque songs that organically flow and combine to produce a mellow sensation. Kurt Vile’s twangy voice, paired with the groove of lo-fi rock and blues, makes for a humorous, good-natured and relaxing album. The former lead guitarist of The War on Drugs continues to foster the indie-rock atmosphere in his seventh solo studio album released via Matador Records.
Due to release in Spring 2018, the delayed album was pushed till now as Vile faced an overwhelming schedule. The album plays on this authentic, entertaining and conscientious panic that reflects the existential theme Vile portrays in much of his music. The clear twist in Bottle It In is that, rather than letting himself go to darker places, Vile’s ambition in staying grounded is apparent, making for some heart-wrenchingly whimsical tunes.
Packed with collaborations, such as Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, among many more, the variations these artists add create an even more dynamic album. The 10-minute single Bassackwards can be described as nothing short of euphoric. A psychedelic and sentimental piece, it showcases the inner workings of Vile’s mind and the subjects that are causing his world to turn backwards. Another highlight on the album is “Cold Was the Wind”, a track about the emotions he feels for his daughter. It combines the lyricism of Neil Young, the vivaciousness of Bruce Springsteen, and the dreariness of Lou Reed – something that is generally done throughout the entire album.
Bottle It In has the potential to be timeless. The visuals, engineering, and production of the album only elevate the beauty of Vile’s songwriting abilities and his voice. The album feels like a sunny day, a warm blanket, a light breeze – all things calming and a good time.