Monday, May 5, 2008

Reviews:: Scott Orr Miles From Today

I don't take Scott Orr to be a God fearing man, so when he asks the man above for help on Don't Want To See That Again, you wonder if it's because that's all he's got left. He's been to the bottom of the bottle, through the heartache and instead of looking up in prayer for hope, it's more like the one desperate option he has left. The desolation of his aching words is matched with a spare electric guitar and lap steel arrangement and you feel every desperate grasp he makes, trying to hold on to whatever he has left.

Orr's new record is a collection of songs, but more so a collection of emotions. He doesn't force depression on you, as he offers glimpses of hope and nostalgia. There is probably no better feeling in life than the first moments of falling in love, and he paints that picture perfectly on Other Thoughts. Everything seems bigger, bolder and gives you the confidence to do anything; even if that love is more one-sided. He wrestles with insecurities on Wondergirl, as he starts doubting himself, thinking even his best gifts will never measure up.

Scott Orr is able to strip the grime and edge of his hometown of Hamilton, offering smooth, soulful tracks that really channel the emotions we all fight or embellish on a daily basis and offers them up over a pretty diverse amount of sounds. After the country tinges that start the record, the touching piano duet, Take Them Home, is quite shocking (but very beautiful and a sure hit for fans of Glen Hansard's work on the Once soundtrack). Tracks like the Dan Magnan-ish You Know What This Song Is About or the folky, string laced Old Enough stop the songs from blending, but for me it's the roots numbers that really show Orr finding his stride, benefiting from the steel or mandolin that fills up the space (like on the What a Way to Go).

This record, which probably hasn't been heard by too many people, is actually free for anyone willing to spend the time to listen. Orr made the decision that it's better to offer give it away and hope the public gives back. I'm getting less and less optimistic that people still do buy records after reading about them online - although we can confirm that Shane's review of The Human Soundtrack led to at least one sale - but throwing a few bucks in the tip jar for this one is more than deserved. Orr's tracks are beautiful and his words hit home with any listener. Isn’t that what we look for in music?




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Posted at 3:40 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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