Best Album

City Paper

A deceptively simple folk record three years in the making, Baltimore institution Caleb Stine’s “Maybe God Is Lonely Too” feels more like a movie (from the ’70s, full of scrappy searching characters and magic hour cinematography) or a book of philosophy (void-staring and blunt, yet unafraid to put itself out there and offer up solutions to life’s hardest questions) than an album. Then again, it just feels like a capital-A Album, which we don’t get anymore and which also makes it appear admirably out of place in 2014. It contains an acoustic take on Bach, ambient bird sounds, and a gutsy race rumination of a track titled ‘Watcha Think Of Me Now,’ about a country boy who starts picking off Klansmen and ends up in jail, where he makes friends by shouting Ray Charles songs as loud as he can. Sturdy songwriting, smart storytelling, and an attention to structure that rewards multiple listens fuel this masterful record.

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