Sean Rowe: The Salesman and the Shark (Anti)

 |   |  <1 min read

Sean Rowe: The Lonely Maze
Sean Rowe: The Salesman and the Shark (Anti)

New York singer-songwriter Rowe's indie release Magic of 2009 (re-released by his new label Anti 18 months ago) inevitably drew comparisons with Tom Waits for its sobering and poetic reflections on life, religion and an America gone to seed.

His road-worn baritone, musical references to battered blues and empty-bottle ballads equally recalled label-mate Waits.

While those aural and thematic reference points are largely intact for this one, Rowe allows a more uplifting sound to infuse his melancholy material and where once melodies were suggested they now come through with clarity, as on The Lonely Maze which soars gently as he sees the universe in a blade of grass and he considers what a spendthrift of life and opportunity he has been.

And where former observations were broad (there are still some), here many are intimate and personal (Signs, The Wall).

Softly augmented by strings or spare guitar playing, Rowe's songs sound like slightly shop-soiled precious gems and this feels like a major statement where Americana folk meets well crafted diary entries and thoughtful ruminations.

You can't hear him without making the Waits reference, but now an individual voice comes through, and it's worth hearing.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Mary Coughlan: House of Ill Repute (Shock)

Mary Coughlan: House of Ill Repute (Shock)

This remarkable Irish singer who soaked her life and songs in whisky at the start of her career slipped from sight for a number of years but here returns with an album that should be counted among... > Read more

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Tori Amis; Little Earthquakes (Rhino/Atlantic)

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Tori Amis; Little Earthquakes (Rhino/Atlantic)

As with Kate Bush, this American singer and songwriter -- a longtime-sometime resident in Britain -- has a reputation among critics and her loyal fanbase which far outstrips her recent sales.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER ANGELA SOUTER returns to Malaysia for a different experience again

GUEST WRITER ANGELA SOUTER returns to Malaysia for a different experience again

How often do we go back to countries we have visited previously? Sometimes life is too short and money too tight, but my husband and I decided to go back to Malaysia recently and sample more... > Read more

Rarotonga, Cook Islands: Clocking Off

Rarotonga, Cook Islands: Clocking Off

At 3.20 in the afternoon the clock on the bus taking us from the airport to the hotel reads 9.07. This could be an early and welcome sign that things here in the Cook Islands -- as in most... > Read more