Joe Henry; Civilians (Anti/Shock) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

 |   |  <1 min read

Joe Henry: You Can't Fail Me Now
Joe Henry; Civilians (Anti/Shock) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

With a small band, and guests Bill Frisell (on guitar) and Van Dyke Parks (piano), the much ignored Henry continues his singular path which owes a little to a less grumbly Tom Waits but remains properly in the singer-songwriter tradition with nods to folk and the blues.

Here are classically-framed ballads (You Can't Fail Me Now) and songs with social and political resonance (Civil War, the lament-filled Our Song), and Henry adopts a more direct lyrical and musical approach than some of his previous outings.

He might have taken that step back from angularity, but nothing here feels like a compromise of musical intelligence. And as always his lyrics draw you in to some unusual perspectives or odd narratives.

This is an excellent entry level to Henry, who spends much of his time these days a producer (mostly recently for Elvis Costello, Solomon Burke).

In Parker's Mood he sings "God is in the details" -- and that is true of this quietly exceptional album.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

The Moody Blues: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 (Shock)

The Moody Blues: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 (Shock)

For someone who was never a big fan, I seem to have an unnatural amount of Moody Blues on my shelves: their first six albums from '65 to '70, and the '94 four-disc box set Time Traveller (which... > Read more

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Singapore: Welcome to Hell

Singapore: Welcome to Hell

As travellers or tourists we often go a long way to see the beautiful, the breathtaking and sometimes the just plain bizarre. No trip to Tucumcari in New Mexico is perhaps complete without a... > Read more

BOB MARLEY; TALKIN' BLUES: The Rastaman chanting down Babylon in 1973

BOB MARLEY; TALKIN' BLUES: The Rastaman chanting down Babylon in 1973

Shortly after Bob Marley died in May ‘81 a journalist asked former-Wailer Peter Tosh what the passing of this charismatic reggae figure meant. Tosh considered the matter carefully, then... > Read more