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Ben Weaver

Paper Sky

(Fugawee Bird; US: 1 May 2007; UK: 27 Apr 2007)

At the still rather tender age of 26, Ben Weaver makes this his fifth album just as strong as his previous release, Stories Under Nails. With a deft delivery that brings to mind the likes of Nick Cave and Tom Waits, Weaver shines on the gorgeous and haunting “In November” and the slightly more up-tempo “Wings as Knives”, which sounds like a gravelly version of the Handsome Family. The album has a very rustic feeling to it, whether it is the barren “Plastic Bag” or the lovely “Like a Vine After the Sun”, both sounding as if they’d fit on Steve Earle’s comeback album Train a Comin’ or I Feel Alright. Even the politically motivated tracks like “The Unelected” soar with a great sense of timing. The only rock-oriented tune might be “Geisha” that has some raggedness. There are too many highlights here to pick one, but “Down 25” seems to symbolize the depth and strength of the material here. The same can be said for “Sorrow”, which has a Springsteen-circa-Nebraska feel to it.

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


Tagged as: ben weaver
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25 Jan 2011
Weaver wants to be personal, intimate, and profound but only comes off as trite, uninteresting, and self-absorbed.
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By stretching outside of singer/songwriter constraints, Weaver might finally be finding his voice.
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