Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Reviews:: Lee Harvey Osmond A Quiet Evil

It’s amazing that Tom Wilson – already one of Canada’s strongest and criminally overlooked song writers – can reinvent himself so successfully even as he strides towards the end of his 49th year. At an age when most start to revisit familiar melodies, compile greatest hits collections and start singing songs made famous by other people (sure, this record has a cover on it, but the spoken word, horns and hand drumming turn Wiffen’s Lucifer's Blues into something special) , Tom is happy to venture into unchartered waters and face the storm head on.

Forming a collective that includes members of The Cowboy Junkies, The Skydiggers, The Sadies, his former band mates and countless others, Wilson basically found a way to turn folk music on its ass. With so many incredible textures and sounds shaping each and every song, it’s hard to put the spotlight directly on Wilson. Despite his vision, this is a band effort and a fantastic one at that. You can talk about how Wilson's bass filled vioce dictates emotion, but you can’t ignore Andy Maize’s help on the lovely Queen Bee or the background noise and organ on Blade of Grassthat fills out any emptiness Wilson’s guitar and vocals leave in their wake.

Some people are referring to Lee Harvey Osmond as “acid jazz”, but honestly, it’s more like Leonard Cohen stumbled into an opium den. Somehow the songs use all of the traditional folk sounds you’d expect, but doesn’t sound like anything you’ve heard before. The slow pace and gentle swirls of instrumentation compliment Wilson’s vocals perfectly and put a beautiful weight on your eyelids. Even when the band plays more on the straight and narrow, like the touching , the typical sadness you’d expect is replaced with a gentle warming haze.

I'll be honest. I never expected to sink so deeply into A Quiet Evil, but it started to float around the rooms and pulse through my veins. One listen turned into six or seven and soon I couldn't imagine turning the record off at all.








MP3:: Lee Harvey Osmond - The Love of One
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/lhosmond

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