10 Songs, 33 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s tempting to hear every song on Dawn Landes’ 2014 album Bluebird as a commentary on her recent divorce from singer/songwriter Josh Ritter, who had used much of his previous album, Beast in Its Tracks, to relay information about their 18-month marriage. But aside from a few songs like “Try to Make a Fire Burn Again” or “Cry No More,” Landes doesn’t seem to dwell too much on the chain of events that led the two musicians to move on. That doesn’t mean there aren’t emotionally powerful moments on Bluebird; its 10 songs flow with a restrained beauty, where even the use of a string section on the lovely “Lullabye for Tony” is hardly grand but deep and rich. Landes (a Louisville, Ky., native) showed great strength and taste on the underrated Fireproof in 2008, and her years engineering other people’s albums have only sharpened her own arrangements. Here, Landes is assisted by producer Thomas Bartlett (a.k.a. Doveman). From the opening title track to the piano-based finale, “Home,” her songs come together with a sense of precision.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It’s tempting to hear every song on Dawn Landes’ 2014 album Bluebird as a commentary on her recent divorce from singer/songwriter Josh Ritter, who had used much of his previous album, Beast in Its Tracks, to relay information about their 18-month marriage. But aside from a few songs like “Try to Make a Fire Burn Again” or “Cry No More,” Landes doesn’t seem to dwell too much on the chain of events that led the two musicians to move on. That doesn’t mean there aren’t emotionally powerful moments on Bluebird; its 10 songs flow with a restrained beauty, where even the use of a string section on the lovely “Lullabye for Tony” is hardly grand but deep and rich. Landes (a Louisville, Ky., native) showed great strength and taste on the underrated Fireproof in 2008, and her years engineering other people’s albums have only sharpened her own arrangements. Here, Landes is assisted by producer Thomas Bartlett (a.k.a. Doveman). From the opening title track to the piano-based finale, “Home,” her songs come together with a sense of precision.

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