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West

With his sad-sack voice and references to himself as an ”expert in lifelike depression,” the ex-American Music Club leader is still the life of the funeral. But the guitar jangle and keyboard-and-marimba cascades of Peter Buck’s production finally lend Mark Eitzel’s dirges the rhythmic dynamics and musical variety they’ve longed for. From surging folk rock (”Move Myself Ahead”) to bare-trees mood pieces (”Fresh Screwdriver”), West isn’t just Eitzel’s best — it’s depressing music that’s genuinely uplifting. A

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