Hollow Ponds is an album with a sort of self-assuredness, almost a contentedness, that makes it very easy to warm up to.
Hollow Ponds is a beautiful little album about love. This in and of itself is not extraordinary; what is extraordinary is that it is about the part of love that follows the romance; the part where you're making plans, finding routine, and wondering about the future. It is strongest in its insecure moments like the sublime "Better, Still" ("I remember leaving school, thinking I could take my time / And for 10 short years, staying in that frame of mind") and "Goodbye" ("Give me this goodbye / And I'll be back again"). Generally, though, it's an album with a sort of self-assuredness, almost a contentedness, that makes it very easy to warm up to, if not necessarily be terribly moved by. Unfortunately, most of the songs evoke other artists and albums -- Damien Rice, The Decemberists, and Once come immediately to mind -- so it won't win anyone over with originality. Still, as far as acoustic singer-songwriter sorts of albums go, this is a lovely one with a mature outlook and an around-the-campfire intimacy. Hollow Ponds is a pastoral still life, albeit one with just a little bit of mystery at its borders.