13 Songs, 57 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Anyone familiar with Joe Henry’s sophisticated singer-songwriting should be prepared for the noir-scapes, the visits to the back corner of the bar, the pianos that tinkle in boozy reflection, the unusual instruments that pop up on occasion to give the music an appropriate weirdness and, of course, Henry’s lyrical reflections that often ponder things under such abstract conditions that analyzing the words only leads to greater confusion. Sure, things fall apart and worlds collide, but don’t try this at home. “Each fuzzy word I send / returns a finer blade / to touch the thought balloon / of every plan I’ve laid,” sings Henry during the slow, dark chord progression of “Channel.” This, after already stating, “Nobody knows the man that I keep hid” on the previous track. Best not to question our narrator and instead enjoy the Spanish guitar touches (“This Is My Favorite Cage”), the clarinet and saxophones from Joe’s son Levon Henry (“Truce”), the confident beats from percussionist extraordinaire Jay Bellerose, and the twisted guitar notes from Marc Ribot. Some mysteries are best kept mysteries.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Anyone familiar with Joe Henry’s sophisticated singer-songwriting should be prepared for the noir-scapes, the visits to the back corner of the bar, the pianos that tinkle in boozy reflection, the unusual instruments that pop up on occasion to give the music an appropriate weirdness and, of course, Henry’s lyrical reflections that often ponder things under such abstract conditions that analyzing the words only leads to greater confusion. Sure, things fall apart and worlds collide, but don’t try this at home. “Each fuzzy word I send / returns a finer blade / to touch the thought balloon / of every plan I’ve laid,” sings Henry during the slow, dark chord progression of “Channel.” This, after already stating, “Nobody knows the man that I keep hid” on the previous track. Best not to question our narrator and instead enjoy the Spanish guitar touches (“This Is My Favorite Cage”), the clarinet and saxophones from Joe’s son Levon Henry (“Truce”), the confident beats from percussionist extraordinaire Jay Bellerose, and the twisted guitar notes from Marc Ribot. Some mysteries are best kept mysteries.

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