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Posted by Play.com Reviewer, 25/10/2008 11:18:39
Stray Age, Daniel Martin Moore's debut offering, is an astonishing piece of work. This is not the first time that Sub Pop have got behind this sort of acoustic almost-folk before (as several brilliant Mark Lanegan/Mike Jonson albums will attest), but the warmth and - for want of a better term - contentment that pours forth from every song is so infectiously cheerful that it's hard not to love this CD.
An inevitable and extremely favourable comparison (given the style of guitar playing and tone/delivery of vocals) is Nick Drake as his happiest, but there's so much more than that - Jeff Klein is also a name that pops into my head on more than one occasion while listening to this, and Daniel is ably assisted on a few tracks by such musicians as Petra Hayden and Justin Meldal-Johnsen (who have racked up an impressive CV between them, including such luminaries as Beck, Tori Amos and The Gutter Twins) who accompany the gentle, swaying songs without overimposing themselves. And he's not averse to making other people's work his own either - the album sports a cover of Sandy Denny/Fairport Convention's Who Knows Where the Time Goes which is as close to melancholy as Stray Age gets, although Daniel's version is more wistful reminiscence than regretful paean, and fits in perfectly with his own compositions.
For me, a great test of any album lies in the second listen, where all the gentle hooks become apparent as you find yourself humming along to songs as if you've been hearing them for years. This is one such album where the second listen feels as if it's always been there, and I can't offer any higher recommendation than that. Give it a listen, and prepare to be very pleasantly surprised.
Note: This Review was made by Play.com customer: Laneganfan on Rakuten’s Play.com on the date shown.
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