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Robert Forster

The Evangelist (Yep Roc)

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Forster's first solo album in more than 10 years is also his first record since the 2006 death of Grant McLennan, his longtime musical partner in the Australian indie-pop band the Go-Betweens. McLennan's passing hovers over The Evangelist — he co-wrote three songs — but never suffocates it. The Go-Betweens' rhythm section is also here, making The Evangelist — with its shrouded, literate lyrics and spare, subdued melodies — a follow-up of sorts to the group's 2005 CD, Oceans Apart. The album begins with several seconds of funereal organ, setting the somber mood of songs like "If It Rains," "Demon Days," and "From Ghost Town." Forster wisely slips some mid-tempo tunes ("Pandanus," "It Ain't Easy") into this set of dark and artsy folk-rock. It's a worthy addition to the Go-Betweens' storied legacy, even with all the demons and ghosts hanging around.

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