Album Reviews

Reviews of recent albums

Elliott Brood Grows Up on Work and Love

The first time I saw Elliott Brood, they were live on a side stage at Pickathon, outside of Portland, OR. Three guys making the largest full-band sound I reckoned I’d heard in some time. Sitting there, trying to extrapolate individual sounds (as I tend to at least try to do), was difficult. Sure, there was the strummy banjo that often started the song. But then the band would hit, and it was like they were channeling the thunder and the rain and the wind itself, to sweep up the hill and fill all our senses. I couldn’t tell what they were singing about, but it didn’t really matter at the time...

Lori McKenna – Numbered Doors

Accomplished and acoustic, Numbered Doors delivers ten ‘mighty fine’ new Lori McKenna songs The initial plan was to cut a five-song, acoustic EP of McKenna’s latest creations, supported only by long-time sideman Mark Erelli who would also occupy the producer’s chair. She booked a couple of days at Chris Rival’s Middleville Studio in North Reading, Massachusetts, in mid-March. On the morning of day two, rather than sweeten the songs completed the previous day, with overdubs, Erelli suggested they up the ante and record a further handful of tunes. The result is Numbered Doors --...

Derek Senn - The Technological Breakthrough

Let me start off by saying, this album is a sleeper. At first listen, it strikes you as an uncomplicated collection of slightly quirky songs... until you really start to hear the lyrics. Then the deception is over, and you realize that what youʼre listening to. If youʼre clever enough to grab the physical CD, what you’re holding in your hands is something special: an encapsulation of thought, feeling, and circumstance that speaks directly to you. Derek Senn writes songs you can relate to. They're lyrically driven songs that capture the ups and downs of everyday life in ways that are at times...

Down Home - Monrovia (Album Review as Poetry)

Monrovia Colorado is as far from Nashville As Nashville is from Monrovia. The Ivory Coast is an embattled, ruthless place; So is Music City, but in a first-world white way. Still, aren't we all the same? All brothers and sisters? Look deep into my eyes and your own -- you'll see. Mothers write letters to sons Whether white or black -- a mother's love is blind. Two stargazing rebels meet, write, sleep in trucks, Become lost at sea and find themselves beached On a beautiful coast, sometimes a mess, sometimes brilliant. The letters still come:  Courage. Love. Son of mine...