[14 December 2008]
Tex la Homa’s latest album is a sparse, haunting and lovable listen that would be up the alley for fans of Springsteen’s Nebraska or Nick Cave at his most down-and-out. The pleasing, barren “The Unanswered Question” features singer and multi-instrumentalist Matt Shaw pouring his heart out while strumming an acoustic guitar. And this style is found throughout, whether on the gentler “Dream Sliding” and the grittier but glorious “The Ginnel”. But the first real gem comes on “Falling” with its backing arrangement a bit more fleshed out than earlier efforts. Another sleeper might be the dreamy “An Uncertain Place” that could’ve fallen out of Nick Cave’s songbook. The biggest problem with such an album is it is going down a very, very road stylistically, but Shaw is able to pull it off without any problems on “Sandbach” and “One Day at a Time”.