Chris Thile - Deceiver (2004)

Chris Thile is lamentably still best-known for his work with his pop-bluegrass trio Nickel Creek, since he's been produced superior solo albums before, during, and after that band's tenure. This is a true solo effort, as it sees him play and sing every part. With the exception of two peerless solo mandolin morsels, it comprises concise, complex, surprising, occasionally theatrical, lyrically delicious pop songs that rarely retrace their steps in any sense. Personally, I'd put this in the top handful of pop albums of the last decade. I would also encourage you to check out his newer albums, and don't miss a chance to see his new band.

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