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

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 The Bats: Free All the Monsters (Flying Nun)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 The Bats: Free All the Monsters (Flying Nun)

The rolling, aural signature of the Bats' guitars and locked-in rhythm section has always sounded at its best when it drops the tempo and engages with a romantically woozy sound which -- when... > Read more

The Vietnam War: The Vietnam War (Round Trip Mars)

The Vietnam War: The Vietnam War (Round Trip Mars)

Despite the explosive connotations of their name, Auckland's Vietnam War are far from an incendiary rock outfit. Rather, they are in that country rock lineage which reaches back to the Byrds... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE ROLLING STONES REVIEWED, NOV 22, 2014: It's all over now

THE ROLLING STONES REVIEWED, NOV 22, 2014: It's all over now

So this is the end. The final concert on the Rolling Stones 14 on Fire tour. And there are no other tours scheduled. They won't go on the road again, and we can dismiss Keith... > Read more

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Peter Tosh; Legalize It (Sony Legacy)

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Peter Tosh; Legalize It (Sony Legacy)

This expanded-to-double-vinyl edition re-presents the '76 debut by the former Wailer who carried a number from that band into the sessions. While Bob Marley delivered the serious Rastaman... > Read more