Ed Askew honed and perfected his craft from last album to this one. Of course, seeing as his last one was issued in 1968 you would hope it’s honed. But age at times can be a bit cruel. Askew’s voice is strong but has that elder warble in it that seems to run through songs like the opening, piano-driven title track and the ensuing “Hey Joe” that is decent but really nothing more. Perhaps the song best exemplifying the record is “Spinning Tops”, a song part sung and part spoken that resembles a song Lou Reed and David Byrne would collaborate on. Another such little nugget is “Blue Eyed Baby”, a reflective and melancholic piece that grows on the listener. As the album continues, there’s a fondness for most of the songs, especially “A Waltz in the Dark” which recalls a past love Askew had or pined for. There’s a tinge of sadness in a lot of the songs, especially “Climbing To The Top” and “Morning Comes Again” as he sings of waking up, looking at children playing and just basically people-watching. When Askew elects to sound contemporary on “A New Song”, it’s a hit and miss affair.
// Notes from the Road
"On release day for their latest Big Mess, Grouplove packed Baby's in Brooklyn for a sweaty show.READ the article