I'll Be on Your Side
Disquera: Elektra (NEK)
It’s a long held truth that musicians use their songs as therapy, getting out those emotions, wounds and tangled thoughts they can’t express in words. Few will admit it, but Spoon’s frontman, Brett Dennen -- famously stoic in interviews -- admitted he was on the verge of breaking down while he was recording Por Favor, his sixth solo album. Like so very often, breakdown proceeds breakthrough, and that is certainly the case here. Dennen has created the most realized album of his career. Gone are the melancholy hushed acoustics and the high pitched vocals of 2013’s Smoke and Mirrors; no sleight of hand is needed here. Instead, Dennen is facing himself squarely in the mirror and for the first time (it seems), he likes what he sees. A confessional, deeply personal, island-soaked document that is nothing so much as musical Post-Its to himself to remind what it takes to be happy, which is to be unstintingly honest with himself. Album standout “Strawberry Road is revelatory and vulnerable in the same way Van Morrison is.
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