TIME OUT NEW YORK
By Steve Smith
"One nice thing about being an in-demand session musician: You’ve got all the right names and numbers in your Rolodex. Viktor Krauss, an Illinois-born bass player who currently resides in Nashville, has recorded and toured with Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, Chet Atkins and Jewel. On his own debut album, 2004’s Far from Enough, he enlisted two of his employers, guitarists Bill Frisell and Jerry Douglas; hotshot drummer Steve Jordan completed the band, and little sister Alison Krauss sang a haunting version of a Robert Plant chestnut.
On II, Krauss doesn’t stray so far from what worked before. Guitarist Dean Parks is probably in your collection already, on Michael Jackson’s Thriller, this or that vintage Steely Dan record, and hits by everyone from George Strait to Puffy AmiYumi. Drummer Matt Chamberlain has backed David Bowie, Tori Amos and Morrissey. Frisell pays a visit, and Shawn Colvin sings a cover of “Shine on You Crazy Diamond.”
Even so, Krauss expands on what was a successful model: “Hop” and “Dudeman” conjure a worldly wanderlust informed by Ry Cooder and Bill Laswell, and “Eyes in the Heat” suggests a celluloid cityscape by night. Two more singers have cameos: Ben Taylor’s sandy croon on “When She’s Dancing” is destined for heavy rotation on WFUV-FM, while Lyle Lovett’s delivery in “(I Could Have Been Your) Best Friend” is a textbook example of that singer’s deadpan soul."
"A follow-up to the bassist/composer's wonderful '04 debut Far From Enough, Krauss's latest, II, is melodic minimalism at its best. Doubling on electric and upright bass, Krauss creates a dreamy mood that evokes wide-open spaces. His slow, throbbing bass lines underpin atmosphereic guitars clearly inspired by his frequent collborator, Bill Frisell." - GO
By Bill Levine
" The long-time bassist for Lyle Lovett and session-player for others in prog-country and contemporary Americana has crafted another fine solo effort. Imagine a soundtrack to a rootsy, somewhat shadowy indie flick that hovers between rural wandering and suburban quests for the real, and you'd hire Krauss in an instanet to give you the score. He decks out his simple folkish melodies with intricate guitar parts and keyboard textures that envelop the multiple voices of Dean Parks' session axe and rock backbeats. Shawn Colvin's girlish guest vocals give an innocent dreamy turn to the psychedelia of Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond.""
"The sideman with the sense of humor checks in with another set that’s hard to classify. Falling somewhere between industrial folk and a soundtrack for an unproduced David Lynch pic, this is an adventurous date for those that like their instrumental prowess on the money and their listening on the edge. A very different and left field kind of recording that manages to take you somewhere else than you might have expected."