The Wood Brothers - Paradise
As the "Singing To Strangers" get started on the Wood Brothers' new Paradise album, you know the trio has taken their sound to new levels. The electric bass is a new addition to the sound, giving their wistful, angsty vocals something to push against. They sing of misunderstood musicians playing who don't feel right, heck, can't find peace, until they are singing to strangers. As with the muse, you can't hardly believe this is a trio. The sound is so full. There's always an interesting lick or an unusual brush or quirky lyric coming through the speakers. You want to somehow listen to it in slow motion just to drink in all the complexity of the sound. But Paradise is not some sort of heavy-handed jazz album full of showing off. It's intended to be enjoyed, even danced to from front to back. "American Heartache" is probably the most dramatic track on the album, capturing the paradox of never being satisfied w/ modern life. But the more-or-less title track has to be "Snake Eyes" which has a old-fashioned tent revival meeting feel to it. It's counter-balanced with the song "Without Desire" which has a latin-rhythm feel to it that paints a more positive picture of the never-ending desires.
I'm adding "Singing To Strangers," "American Heartache," "Snake Eyes," "Heartbreak Lullaby," and "Without Desire" to rotation.