(120) Dan Ouelette, Billboard -- 11/04

The second CD for the wittily named band The Nels Cline Singers, an instrumental outside the lines jazz group, arrives in the wake of Cline's enlistment as Wilco's go-to guitarist. With band mates Devin Hoff on bass and Scott Amendola on drums, Cline launches into free-wheeling improvisation territory on The Giant Pin that is at once
angular, sweet, bristling, assaultive and gripping. The trio rocks with crunch on "Fly Fly," smears and scratches with electronics through the melodic "He Still Carries a Torch for Her," paints an eerie soundscape on "Something About David H." with guest keyboardist Jon Brion dabbing in sonic color, and muses with quiet beauty on "Watch Over Us." Cline's guitar voice speaks in many tongues - lyrical single-note picking, straight-up strumming, metal-infused bashing, geometric searching - on a disc that rewards with adventure and surprise.

Dan Ouelette