Melodic and melancholic almost to a fault, Oren Lavie resembles Royal Wood or Leonard Cohen with his barren delivery on gorgeous little nuggets like “Her Morning Elegance”. Meanwhile the lovely and tender, piano-tinged “The Man Who Isn’t There” shines through with a grace and style that is simply stellar. While some might consider the style as an “Eleanor Rigby”-meets-XTC vibe with the tense strings on the title track, it seems to work throughout. By this time you also realize he’s not about to change what has gotten him this far, resulting in the subsequent songs losing just a bit (but not much) of their luster as is the case with “Locked in a Room”. Thoughts of the Moody Blues also are apparent with the jazzy, lounge-y “Ruby Rises”. The album turns a hair when the strings are placed on the back burner during the light “Trouble Don’t Rhyme”. The only real clunker is the dreamy “Blue Smile” which almost could put one to sleep.
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// Notes from the Road
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