Mangy Love

I’m calling it here and now that Cass McCombs will be remembered as one of the great artists of our time. Here’s how I back up my case: One, his prolific nature; since 2002, McCombs has released nine full-length records, good ones. Two, his versatility; his albums sway between jangly freak folk and straight-up crooner R&B, but they never do either outright—McCombs’ own style remains throughout. Three, he gets better; his newest album, Mangy Love, continues to push into new territory. That signature McCombs melancholy permeates throughout songs with a slight country lingering and general smooth demeanor. There’s something in this album that can only be described as solidified, slightly less meandering folk and more set in sonic stone, like “Low Flying Bird,” which almost sounds like a Beck jam. Not convinced? Well, I’d like to refer you to my No. 4, found in the fifth track,“Medusa’s Outhouse,” where McCombs simply speaks the bridge, “Hey, if it’s so easy, you try it.”