Wednesday, February 16, 2011

David Wilcox Home Again 1991

David Wilcox is a folky singer-songwriter with a nice voice and a gift for both metaphor and simile (I better cover all the bases), plus he's an excellent guitar player. I own and like several of his records, but this is the one.

This is the real deal heart-on-the-sleeve, confessional, romantic, yearning, deeply emotional singer-songwriter stuff here. In the liner notes, Wilcox himself says "...most of these songs are about facing the stuff that follows me when I run." He's not kidding.

Immaculately produced by Ben Wisch and staffed by impressive guest stars and an all-star cast of studio go-to guys, the CD sounds terrific. And the arrangements are stellar.

All it takes now is songs to hang all that good stuff on. Songs that will stand up and make the most of all that talent. There really aren't any lame songs on this record. There are highlights for sure, but the record is listenable from end to end, and that alone is a rarity.

Burgundy Heart-Shaped Medallion hangs a beautiful love song on a Bach guitar piece just to kick things off. Farther To Fall, the sneakily dirty-sexy Wildberry Pie, Distant Water, the hilarious over-the-hill tale of Top Of The Roller Coaster, the painfully confessional Covert War- all great songs. But some of the best are yet to come near the end of the CD. Last Chance Waltz is a sweet young 28 year old with a problem at his 10-year high school reunion. She's Just Dancing is an up-tempo beauty of a writing job, and a lovely lyric, right there with Joni Mitchell or Jackson Browne or Guy Clark. And then Chet Baker's Swan song, complete with Randy Brecker on flugelhorn, is a gorgeous homage to Baker, and another exceptional lyric.

All this can be too much delicate folk for some folks, and you know who you are. But when you want the soundtrack for your occasional angst, there's nothing like this stuff. And of modern purveyors of the genre, Wilcox is a rare talent. He's made a bunch of good records, and this one is the most consistently excellent.

Much of David Wilcox's music can be heard at his web site, including several of the songs from this fine CD.

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