Chris Thile's Virtuosity Leaps Genres on Deceiver
By Sugar Hill Records
September 7, 2004 - 6:00 am
Chris Thile - Deceiver
Chris Thile's Deceiver, set for an October 12 release, is a broad leap from his work with Nickel Creek and his previous instrumental records. Thile plays over 25 instruments on the album—not only his signature mandolin; but also, electric guitars, violin, viola, cello, varying bass instruments, drums, piano, Wurlitzer, B-3, bouzouki and more. He is the sole musician, vocalist and songwriter on the album, and co-produced the effort with engineer Gary Paczosa. Though Thile is not the first musician to tackle a one-man show in the studio, it is notable the variety of instruments and musical styles he utilizes to blend genres.
This is the fifth solo album from Thile—his first issued on Sugar Hill when he was 13 years old, after picking up the mandolin at the age of 5—and forming the Grammy-winning Nickel Creek band at age 8. His 2001 solo album Not All Who Wander Are Lost, was a sprawling acoustic opus that the "Chicago Tribune" noted as an album of the year stating, "his composing and arranging are at once complex and accessible, his flair for melody equaled by an exceptional gift for improvising, while every track is imbued with a joyous sense of celebration."
Now at age 23, Thile is widely regarded as one of the finest mandolinists in the world, and has always enthusiastically pushed the limits of his craft. Though he originally learned from bluegrass players, he has been a rabid student of all genres -- from classical, jazz, pop and rock -- all reflected in Deceiver.
The opening track deceptively begins with trickling piano, but builds into an anguished reflection on young love. "Locking Doors" blends rock with shades of old-school jazz, violins and modern pop sensibilities. "The Believer" explores perceptions of faith, while "Empire Falls" is inspired by the Pulitzer prize-winning novel. The album's layered parts divided by two mandolin solos, which Thile describes as "palette cleansers."
Recently Nickel Creek toured with John Paul Jones and others under the banner of Mutual Admiration Society. The band will perform two shows at the famed Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in September, and begin recording their third album this fall. Thile will also go on a brief tour with bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer in the winter, in addition to promoting Deceiver.