Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quick Hitters:: Clinton Charlton Parade

It seems like we’ve reached the dog days of summer releases. The review pile is running low and honestly, if it wasn’t I don’t know if I would have thrown in Clinton Charlton’s full length the other day. It’s not that I didn’t think the NB man is talented – his work with Carousels was strong enough to gain a spot on the NB mixtape – I just assumed it would be in line with the roots tinged, bar rock I had heard from the band and not really what I’m looking for these days.

Instead, Charlton retreats to the back of the bar and has penned a collection of introspective tracks. I know that roots music is the new synth rock, which was the new black, but Parade never really pushes the issue. Charlton doesn’t hit you over the head with a fake drawl or nods to Townes or Young. Instead he just plays relaxed songs with the help of a solid band and lets the chips fall where they may.

Probably Charlton’s best skill is understanding how people will hear his music. He jump starts the record with an uptempo effort- Bee In October - and picks up the tempo again when the disc starts to lag. That lets you settle into the tender tracks like All the Damage Done. More importantly the brevity of the LP doesn’t let you get bored. Parade is a quick hitting nine songs, four of which don’t even break the 2:30 mark, that make their point and leave. He doesn’t waste time with extended solos, pointless narratives or stories that go nowhere, and as a result, Parade is highly repeatable.

Clinton’s got the unique ability to leave the listener wanting more. When he gets it right, like he does on the beautiful, steel/organ filled duet with Jessica Rhaye (Til We've Both Said Goodbye), the stripped down Because Of A Girl or perfectly Angels Of Cantebury Street, you wish he could have added another minute to the effort. But even when songs lose some of the integrity the genre deserves (like the radio friendly Braver than Most, Charlton doesn’t let the song overstay its welcome and derail the listen.

All in all, a nice solo venture for the seasoned musician. There are some nice highs and of course, a few lows but Parade gets me excited for his next batch of songs when he's more comfortable with his band and the sounds that works best for them.

MP3:: Clinton Charlton - Til We've Both Said Goodbye

MP3:: Clinton Charlton - All The Damage Done


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Posted at 8:25 AM by ack :: 1 comments

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At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Jake P did sayeth:

I've been listening to the disk in the truck on repeat for a week now, and I just don't grow tired of it. Angels of Canterbury is pure musical masterpiece, and there's no reason Words or Braver than Most couldn't be very commercially successful.


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