Thursday, April 13, 2006

Why Should the Fire Die?

Why think about music at all today? Because the song Doubting Thomas is something to think about-

what will be left when i've drawn my last breath,
besides the folks i've met and the folks who know me,
will i discover a soul cleansing love,
or just the dirt above and below me,

i'm a doubting thomas,
i took a promise,
but i don't know what's safe,
oh me of little faith,

sometimes i pray for a slap in the face,
then i beg to be spared 'cause i'm a coward,
if there's a master of death i'll bet he's holding his breath,
as i show the blind and tell the deaf about his power,

can i be used to help others find truth,
when i'm scared i'll find proof that its a lie,
can i be lead down a trail dropping bread crumbs,
that prove i'm not ready to die,

If you have any liking for bluegrass-influenced folk-pop, this album is perfect. Nickel Creek has always been a favorite to those who follow the skillful pop/country icon Alison Krauss, who has been their producer for the past couple albums. This work, however, does not include Ms. Krauss, and surprisingly, they have thrived. They have truly grown up, dealing with issues such as imperfect love, loss, age, purpose, and faith. Their song, Doubting Thomas, intimately, deftly and carefully tackles the intrinsically human challenge of faith, with a freshness that is eye-opening and penetratingly personal. It is perhaps the most thoughtful. Anthony is a wonderfully simple ditty with an old country feel, playfully syncopated with and ukulele. The album combines a deep rooted feel of an old favorite record with a fresh luster, transitioning between the two in each song; I believe I heard in an interview that the title track was recorded using only one microphone, giving it a live integrated feel. Other tracks of note include the group's ethereal cover of Dylan's Tomorrow is a Long Time, the dark, percussion heavy pop song Best of Luck, the ballad Jealous of the Moon, the intensely sensual and tragic Can't Complain, and the gritty When in Rome. The musical skill from their lyrics, to their arrangements, to their execution is an astonishing combination of creative youth and wisdom. I can only wait to see what they come up with next.

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