Does Pinegrove’s Alt-Country ‘Cardinal’ Have Any Direction? — Album Review

Montclair, New Jersey band Pinegrove just dropped their new alt-country album ‘Cardinal.’ Does it have any direction? Watch our review to find out.


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• T. Hardy Morris and Saintseneca get lost in the woods
• Next generation of heart-on-the-sleeve-wearing New Jersey singer-songwriters brings back some local cooking from a road trip with Uncle Tupelo and Ryan Adams

• Stream of consciousness lyrics + half-drunk drawl delivery
• Good dynamics – A little alt country, a little punk rock, a little indie pop
• Old Friends, Aphasia, Waveform, New Friends

• Emo falsetto can be a little too much at times, and soften the delivery
• Feels a little demo-ish – Waveform didn’t feel fully finished
• Was a bit too short – 8 songs in 30 minutes just left me wanting more

Kevin: 3/5
Derek: 4/5


Pinegrove — Cardinal — Album Review
Episode #211 — Published 2/16/16


Last Week’s Album


Ben F says:

Dropped a few LPs? They had one come out before this, as well as 3 EPs, a comp, a single, and an Audiotree session, but the only other one that could be called an LP would be Meridian I think. I know that sounds nitpicky but I feel like several times throughout this you went for “we did our research” but mixed up things (that, first track vs last track, you misquoted “Then Again” – it’s “I tried to travel once” not “I traveled once”, etc.)

Also, using actual video software rather than Google Hangouts would help prevent awkward cuts back and forth between you two. Also would stop some of the visual lag, there are numerous times that your audio doesn’t match up to the video.

I like the idea of this channel of having two people’s opinions on albums but there’s a lot that I feel like y’all could improve, including the above and working on the title format. Asking a question framed like this and then answering it at the end in a very loose way doesn’t draw me in – if anything, some of the questions like “How odd is Jim James” or “Is Band of Horses’ Indie Rock OK” turn me away from your videos, and I get that most are puns on the album title but it just feels unneccssary.

yld says:

awh heck they have direction. direction towards the fucking moon <3

davidtomamusic says:

Why is this disliked so much? I’m guessing people saw the title and assumed you were going to pan it… It’s a pretty fair review although I didn’t dislike a single second of it. I agree that there wasn’t really enough music on this album though. It’s really short. Good thing they’re reissuing it with more tracks this week (I think)

Drill Ghost says:

Yeah if people actually watched it was a positive reviews. Sure they aren’t gushing over Pinegrove’s album Cardinal, the album that’s being reviewed… But honestly not until I saw them live and watched more acoustic videos did I get how truly talented the singer/songwriter is. Cardinal is demo-ish and I think that’s purposefully done because they are more of a live band and it seems like their vibe… but what do I know. Pinegrove is a 10, but I could see Cardinal being a 7/8. I do however think his lyrics are very deliberate, and not stream of consciousness, maybe at times they purposefully bounce around some topically, but I think that done to get wandering vibe or whatnot. You guys know that people can’t watch anything that’s not vine length… and read holy shit no one reads.

Jesse McMahon-Eagan says:

i strongly encourage you to re-focus on this album’s continuity and integrity. it’s so tightly delivered and evan is such a strong lyricist that there isn’t a single loose thread hanging. from the begining to the end Cardinal has recurring themes and motifs that must’ve been really carefully considered; the aimlessness you guys touched on isn’t indicative of a lack of purpose! if anything, this is one of the most hopeful and human albums I’ve ever heard. 6/5

rocknrollsinger says:

I’m not sure why it keeps being called “alt-country”. Yeah, that’s part of the sound, but it’s got enough early Built to Spill in there to balance out the Wilco. I also think it’s worth mentioning the sort of unconventional arrangements/dynamics on the record that seem pretty beholden to the lyrics.

Andrew Betancourt says:

The opening track is “old friends”. At least if you are going to do a review get the tracks and names in order.

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