[11 April 2011]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
Things I Wonder is the first album by New York guitarist Chris Parrello and, for the most part, it sounds fully realized. He does seem to come from the restraining order school where chops and flash take a back seat to mood and dissonance, however. In fact, between the use of tenor and alto sax, cello, bass, drums and guitar and the often (but not always) wordless singing of Karlie Bruce, the music can stand to be weirder. It does maintain a non-distracting diversity, shifting between full band drives built on solid syncopation and coffee shop acoustic guitar with female voice. The indie twang of “Undone” may be at odds with the murky jazz of “Open Out”, but not discouragingly so. Let’s hope that Chris Parrello lets his guard down for future releases.