As if Boz Scaggs were setting crossword clues for Arthur Russell.
In an age where much so-called “independent” music seems hell-bent on covering the voice under dense layers, Sandro Perri’s is crystal clear. He creates plenty of mystery with an approach as direct and simple as Boz Scaggs, as fluid and mystical (in word and rhythm) as Prefab Sprout or Arthur Russell, and as concerned with harmony and bliss as all three.
Although this is Perri’s third album under his own name, he has been recording since 1999, often with dark ambience and rhythmic subtlety as Polmo Polpo. In fact, his first Perri release Plays Polmo Polpo is mainly comprised of acoustic versions of three earlier tunes. Impossible Spaces is perhaps his most ambitious album yet, showing him as an idiosyncratic artist afloat in mesmerizing sounds and lyrical puzzles. His music is developing in subtle and unexpected ways but doesn’t abandon earlier interests. For example he uses sparingly electronic textures on several long pieces and the wonderfully concise “Futureactive Kid Part 1”. Be sure to also check out his excellent Tiny Mirrors album, which includes a superb Harry Nilsson cover. Perri’s voice and (what might be termed) “the space” in the songs combine to make it one of the best and most overlooked releases of 2007. Quite naturally and organically, Sandro Perri is creating an impressive body of work outside of fashion or genre without really trying to do so.