[10 June 2009]
Lewis & Clarke doesn’t play songs as much as it unfurls them, slowly letting ribbons of sound billow and cascade. The power, though, is palpable, made even stronger through delicateness, a paradox that is at play not only in the music on Light Time but also in its metaphors for life, loss and renewal.
In opener “Petrified Forest”, a town falls into industrial decay, and a son is without a father. Lou Rogai, plucking harp-like nylon-string guitar, has a clear, commanding voice, which comes into strong focus at the song’s climax. “In the petrified forest/ Where your heart is frozen still/ You will bring it to life/ You will bring it”, he sings, then, raising his volume and convictions just a hair, “You will.”
The exquisite, emotionally bare feel continues through the title track, with a stirring tension-and-release segment, a reworking of L&C’s “Dead and Gone” and a courageous — and appropriate — take on Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel #2.”