Monday, February 22, 2010

Joy Kills Sorrow – Darkness Sure Becomes This City CD Review

Starting the album off, singer Emma Beaton soothingly carries you through several of the more country compositions. It may come as no surprise that 2006 John Lennon Songwriter contest winner Bridget Kearney wrote most of the highlights of the album. She also wrote some of the most lyrically cliché songs (rivaling the literary qualities of John Mayer at his best).

“Books” is a slow moving pleasantry which, although enjoyable, doesn’t hold a candle to the beauty of a song like “Thinking Of You And Such”. On “All the Buildings” though it is easy to lose sight of that beauty with lyrics such as, “Why don’t we stay in my room / waste away the afternoon … all our favorite songs / we can prolong.” Not everything needs to be a literary masterpiece, but one can not rely on music alone (unless you are the most talented group of musicians alive).

As far as that goes, this should be one of the most talented groups of musicians out there. They have a full-ride to Berklee mandolin player in Jacob Jolliff, a flatpicking champion with guitarist Matthew Arcara, and a Canadian folk singer of the year with singer Emma Beaton. At the same time while listening, the desire is that they showcased that skill a little more.

The highlight of the album actually happens to be “New Shoes”, a Caleb Klauder cover. It just goes to show that even the best singers and songwriters sometimes need a little help from their friends.