I Break Chairs is the only album by Damien Jurado I own, and I’m unclear exactly what drew me to it. I remember reading an article about how the album was a vast departure for Jurado at the time. I think I was just in a music-buying mood and gave this album a shot because nothing else seemed to appeal to me at the time.
I’ve heard Jurado’s more introspective material since, and I have to say I prefer I Break Chairs. The only parallel I can draw at the moment is Patty Griffin’s Flaming Red. Griffin too is pegged as a "sad folkie" (her words), and she’s actually tried to shake that distinction a few times, much to her ardent fans’ dismay.
As with I Break Chairs, I like Griffin when she’s balls-out rocking, even though she does sound incredibly good with soft-spoken material.
David Bazan, a.k.a. Pedro the Lion, produced I Break Chairs, and around the same time, Bazan released Control, which is not surprisingly the only album of Pedro the Lion’s I own. There’s a pattern in here somewhere, but my allergies are kicking my butt too much to make sense of it.