After turning the knobs for bands like Gang Gang Dance and the New Pornographers, Charles Burst has stepped out behind the console for his first album. And Burst holds his own in front of the mic, with the tender, Americana gem “Nautical” coming to the fore with sincerity in his voice and some ivories being tickled. Burst seems to come from a different era, yet makes each of these songs gel with timeless, classic and straightforward arrangements. “House Arrest” is a tad more aloof, but brings to mind Jim Bryson, Hayden and Tom Brosseau as well. The consistency of the material is another asset as the tender but momentarily punchy “The Empty Room” keeps your attention as does the folksy, warm and inviting “Girl on the Rocks” which resembles a Waylon Jennings b-side. “Bars” is the type of number you take or leave but is necessary to change the flow of the record. Burst ensures most of these songs burst with feeling and passion, with the slow but stellar “Nights Out” perhaps being the album’s crowning achievement. And that’s saying a helluva out given the quality here.
// Notes from the Road
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