According to Josh Rosenfeld, the cofounder of Barsuk Records (which released Travistan), the effects of Dahlen’s review were immediate and disastrous. Several college radio stations that had initially been enthusiastic said they wouldn’t play it. “One indie record store even said that they wouldn’t carry it because of the Pitchfork review,” Rosenfeld says. “Not because they heard it – because of the review.”
So thoroughly was the album torpedoed that it’s almost certainly more familiar as an object lesson in Pitchfork puissance than as a piece of music. Well, it appears that once bitten is twice shy: Morrison’s released his follow-up effort on his Web site well in advance of the album’s release—presumably in hopes that fans, at least, will give it a listen before the tastemakers weigh in. Preliminary reaction: Neither a “0.0,” nor a new Emergency & I; I need to see if it grows on me after a few listens.