Drew Danburry “This Could Mean Trouble, You Don’t Speak For the Club” (Emergency Umbrella, 2009)
More quality meanderings from one of lo-fi folk's brightest and best
Another year, another release from the wonderful Drew Danburry, an amazing songwriter and one of the most genuine people you’re likely to come across in music, but it’s fair to say that he tests his audience at times with the diversity of his output. Some of it brings new meaning to the term “lo-fi” and there are moments on his latest record like the strained fuzz of “Tonight I Was Trying to Read (Parts One and Two)” which are genuinely difficult, although that’s not to say they don’t reap rewards with repeated listening and build a distinct character of their own in the process. Just listening to the superb build up and come down of “L’Ecole” now makes the times spent getting into its feel worth it all. That said, there are also moments like the pop of “I’m Pretty Sure” reprised from last year’s Mother EP (with a shorter title – it’s a shame Drew has for the first time on this release abandoned the half paragraph song titles which were a joy to read in themselves), and “Residents in Orange County” with its infectious zeal and thought provoking suggestion (“It isn’t till disaster that we really get a chance to measure ourselves”) which show Danburry hasn’t lost his touch for accessible masterpieces.
Lyrically indeed he can sometimes be incredibly incisive: “I don’t think I’m strong enough to hold everyone up with just my ego – why did you have to go?” he sings on “Life Security” – it’s a beautiful line and evocative of the humble honesty that’s present throughout all of his records. Perhaps nowhere is the combined talent better illustrated than on the country leaning “Memorial Day” which driven along by some exquisite harmonica has that familiar “live in the studio with a lot of people” thing that Danburry does so well. It’s true that the album becomes more complex as it moves on, both musically and sonically thanks to the provocative production, but while TCMT doesn’t quite hit the heights of his piece de resistance “Besides, Are We Just Playing…” it’s still a hugely successful collection of songs that warmly hang together and provide plenty of food for thought.
Date review added: Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Reviewer: Mark Whitfield
Related web link: Artist Website