Invisible Hour (Bonus Track Version)
Invisible Hour is a graceful examination of marriage “as a verb, not a noun,” as Joe Henry writes in the liner notes. His focus is the commitment required to sustain a relationship rather than the fleeting romance that usually gets it started. He’s more concerned with compromises, sacrifices, and other less glamorous aspects of love, and his words are tender, witty, and wise. He’s always been a strong lyricist, and he’s in top form here. Befitting the songs' personal and introspective focus, the arrangements are sparse and acoustic with nothing wasted or unnecessary. His core studio band of Jay Bellerose on drums, Greg Leisz on guitar and mandolin, and his son Levon Henry on reeds perform brilliantly. They surround these patient and poetic ballads with tasteful guitar passages, clarinet trills, and light percussion. Between producing work for a diverse group of major artists, Henry has steadily created a remarkable run of solo albums over the past 25 years. Invisible Hand, his 13th release, belongs near the top of the list.