One of the healthy things about the folk circuit is the fact that there are so many talented veteran artists who keep touring and performing year after year. Some of those singer/songwriters might come out with an uneven album every now and then, but they have a way of bouncing back creatively and letting you know that they still have a lot on their minds. David Wilcox, who has been recording since the '80s, is that type of artist. Some of his releases have been inconsistent, but one has to admire his persistence and the fact that he keeps touring, performing, and writing year after year. And 2009's Open Hand, it turns out, is one of his stronger and more consistent efforts. In fact, Wilcox's writing is generally excellent this time. The Midwesterner hasn't changed much stylistically; he still favors a folk-rock/folk-pop outlook that is jazzy, subtle, relaxed, and unassuming. But Wilcox's subtlety doesn't mean that he isn't substantial; introspective offerings such as "Outside Door," "Red Eye," "Winter at the Shore," and "Vow of Silence" are clearly the work of a deep thinker -- and even though Wilcox doesn't beat listeners over the head to get his points across, he certainly has a lot to say if one is willing to listen. Parts of this 48-minute CD are melancholy; on "Modern World," for example, Wilcox takes a candid look at the overall state of the U.S. in 2009 and concludes that the early 21st century has been a disappointment on so many levels. But the fact that Open Hand has its world-weary moments doesn't mean that Wilcox has lost his sense of humor, which is alive and well on the clever "Captain Wanker." From the melancholy to the humorous, Open Hand is a disc that Wilcox can be proud to add to his catalog.
|Label:||What Are Records|