Violet is an impressive work from a clearly accomplished musician working with his peers. It’s an album full of spirited playing, casual improvisational feel, and soft atmospheres. All of the songs here are fine but only once or twice does it manage to latch onto something that’s memorable. Fortunately, one of them is the gorgeous opening instrumental “Countryside Prelude” and the subsequent folk-inflected tune, “Count Your Tears”. Paired together they show promise and pull the listener willingly into Violet, but then the album eases up and can’t match that strong early precedent.
When the majority of songs on an album are first or second takes, as was the case with Violet, it always runs the risk of not being a coherent work. While this isn’t the case for Violent, it is slightly disappointing that the whole just isn’t anywhere nearly as interesting as “Countryside Prelude” and “Count Your Tears” would suggest.