- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
|Darden Smith||Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Harmonica, Percussion, Piano, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Tambourine, Vocals|
|Lloyd Maines||Pedal Steel Guitar|
|Michael Ramos||Percussion, Piano, Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer|
|Steuart Smith||Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Electric Guitar|
|Andy Stein||Strings, Violin, Viola|
|Mike Hardwick||Pedal Steel Guitar|
|Darden Smith||Composer, Engineer, Audio Production|
|Stewart Lerman||Producer, Audio Production|
|Michael Ramos||Composer, Engineer|
|John Scott Sherrill||Composer|
|Steve Barber||String Arrangements|
Posted October 1, 2010
This is a great collection of off center acoustic based music, the best I've heard in a long spell. Not since the 70's have I heard anything like this. Darden writes some memorable laments about life ups and downs and especially love, a subject he always turns to. Its very comfortable music, beautiful, full of wonder and great harmonizing all through. Kim Richey and Shawn Colvin two exceptional singers and harmonizers just add more depth to these songs. Lloyd Maines petal steel opens things up with a song that should go to country music stations but it would make everything else lame. The Triple A single and second cut "Make love so hard", I just can't get this out of my head. Darden and Kim Richey, they just melt together, so sensually sung, whispering to a lover late at night, another gem radio most likely will ignore, it has something to say. "Late train to London" is another highlight, very different music but compelling to listen to, just take in the lyrics to this gem, can't hide good writing with over blown productions, these tunes shine one after the other. "Hands on the Wheel", nice Shawn Colvin harmonizing, another winner. "Mill Creek" just slowly moves along, like breathing on a cold winter morning, walking and thinking, but still moving on, I love this song! This is by far my favorite new cd over the past several years. Great Production job and little sounds everywhere. Dust off some headphones and listen to all the little things going on in "CIRCO". It hits me same as when I took in Joni Mitchell's Blue - Court & Spark, Jackson Browne, some of Cat Stevens great ones, Ricki Lee Jones first one, just a real masterpiece from Darden!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2010
This is a great follow-up to the highly acclaimed "SUNFLOWER" back a couple years ago. I find "CIRCO" in a similar vain but what stands out to me is the song cycle and intense imagery, atmosphere, great recorded sound. Darden isn't in this anymore for a big hit song, I think he just makes such beautiful music that has adult concerns always at the heart. Lighter as a whole than past works but with a nice groove and bounce that more than make up for a rock showcase. I like the jazz/folk/country/ pop/rock contemporary leanings over some generic rock track these days from darden, no need to distrack from what this is all about. I love the single track "Make love so hard" very distinct sound to this twist on words. Excellent harmonizing between Darden and Kim Richey. Shawn Colvin also is great on "Hand on the Wheel" as is Suzzy Roche on the great grooving track "One Hundred Ways". The atmosphere in tracks "Late night train to London", "Mill Creek","Make love so hard", "Rise", "What are we gonna do" are some of his best examples of his talents continuing to evolve and grow. This collection, like his great "Sunflower" are perfect gems and great bookends to what Darden Smith has come to mean to all his fans. Great musicanship, singing, lyrics and personal songs that touch your soul add up to the best music has to offer.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2010
Just about every review of Smith begins by mentioning how difficult his music is to classify. This one's no exception. Though he was reared in Austin, and his earlier work had a dustier flavor, his later albums are a more sophisticated mix of folk, country, soul and jazz. It's a sophisticated slot, filled with singer-songwriters like Lyle Lovett, Nick Drake, and earlier works by Tom Waits, or in past decades, Joni Mitchell or Cat Stevens. A good sense of Smith's habitat can be found in a guest list that includes Jim Lauderdale, Lloyd Maines, Kim Richey, Suzzy Roche, and Shawn Colvin. ¶ Smith's background in country music is evident in pedal steel or harmonica outlines, but the vocals and production lean to more crafted and polished adult contemporary pop, akin to the work of one-time Haircut 100 vocalist Nick Heyward. The arrangements are clever, but never overwhelm the lyrics, with whispery vocals and harmonies, and soulful touches of Wurlitzer and Hammond B3 that create deep atmosphere. Percussive numbers, like "One Hundred Ways," keep their beat at mid-tempo, adding accordion to the more regular piano-drums-guitar. It's an inventive and eclectic mix. ¶ Smith writes similarly sophisticated lyrics, contemplating the intertwining of plan and fate, and how detours can unfold into opportunity. There's a strong streak of fatalism, but without the hopelessness that is often its accomplice, Smith retains an optimist's view of chance. The contemplative grooves with which he's orchestrated his intellectual and spiritual wanderings position this equally well for private foreground introspection or background fill.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.