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199 words about what Spencer Krug's been up to
Spencer Krug’s new album, Fading Graffiti, is excellent and worthy of a listen, but it was destined to be a footnote to the Canadian songwriter’s true magnum opus from 2018, This One’s for the Dancer and This One’s for the Dancer’s Bouquet. Does that title respect 200 Words About Culture’s valorization of concision? It does not. But the album itself is a wonder—or two wonders, rather, since it is composed of two independent projects, recorded at different times with different musicians, that were twined together like DNA to create a double album with a singular spirit. The avatar of the album’s most powerful project is the half-bull, half-man of Greek legend known as the Minotaur. He spends the album accepting apologies (“Minotaur Forgiving Theseus,” “Minotaur Forgiving Pasiphae,” &c.) and lamenting the existential anguish of being imprisoned in a labyrinth by the inventor Daedalus for the crime of simply being what he is: “You could have just built a wooden cage / In the end, they will lock you up as well.” Krug soars close to the sun on these tracks, but unlike Icarus, he never burns his wings. Instead of hubris and descent, there is only majesty and transcendence.