My Better Self [B&N Exclusive Version]by Dar Williams
Since breaking out of New England's coffeehouse folk scene a decade ago, Dar Williams has been steadfastly committed to musical evolution -- and she continues that tradition on this, perhaps her least straightforwardly "folk" release to date. That's evident from the 12-bar blues structure that envelops "Two Sides of a River," a tune with a powerful-yet-feminine punch reminiscent of Susan Tedeschi's better work. Williams stretches things even further with a cover of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" -- an idea that sounds odd on paper but ends up working beautifully, thanks to Dar's own arrangement as well as the harmony vocals added by Ani DiFranco. There are a number of notable cameos on the disc -- Marshall Crenshaw's guitar, for instance, provides a stark backdrop on a version of Neil Young's "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" -- but none casts a shadow over Williams's vision. That set of ideals -- which can be boiled down, basically, to faith, hope, and charity -- permeates My Better Self to a huge degree, manifesting itself in subtle ways (as on the pay-it-forward allegory "Echoes") and surprisingly unadulterated ones as well (notably the tender spiritual paean "Teens for God"). It's always been easy to turn to Dar Williams for affirmation -- but unlike many of her acoustic guitartoting peers, it's just as possible to seek her out for a dose of homespun entertainment.
- Release Date:
- Razor & Tie
Performance CreditsDar Williams Primary Artist
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I have long been a fan of Dar Williams' folksy style of music and this album is no exception. While I enjoy all the tracks, her collaboration with Marshall Crenshaw on Neil Young's classic, "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" and Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" with Ani DiFranco really stand out. Her voice really shines in Liar as well. Great album. Sit back, pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy!