Boulder Acoustic Society's sixth release takes roots music places it might not have gone before. Champion opens with "Shelter," featuring a slow, plucky banjo and mournful, old-timey harmonies; it's pure bluegrass until the drum kit enters the mix. "Where Have the Good Ones Gone" introduces soft piano and heavy organ lines, while the title track opens with a lightly droning accordion. "Song for 3:00 A.M." is the perfect closer, offering spine-tingling double harmonies and lyrics like "She's coming for my soul/But I gave in to rock and roll/You're welcome to whatever's left of me." One of the most impressive things about this album is the band's knack for knowing when to tone things down, honing the sound to raw, rough voices smoothed by evocative lyrics and beautiful harmonies. It's a tight, gorgeous effort overall. The only complaint here is how quickly the five songs are over.
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