I was very impressed with If You Come To Greet Me and so really looked forward to hearing this second release from Laura Gibson. For the first few plays I found it a bit disappointing, a darker, more tangled and often slower variation on the ground covered on the first record, but without quite the same magic. I was looking for the humor and lightness of Hands in Pockets or Country, Country in the mix and there just didn't seem to be an equivalent. So I left it unplayed for a while and then gave it a second try. And now it's really grown on me.
The lyrics are for the most part more oblique, denser and darker than those on If You Come To Greet Me - but that's OK when they are as good as most of these songs are - and the arrangements are as fantastic as you would expect with Tucker Martine producing. (Which also means you get Laura Veirs as a backing vocalist and Eyvind Kang's wonderful viola playing on several tracks, as well as contributions by various musicians from Norfolk and Western, etc). Funeral Song is probably the key track here in terms of the mood of the CD as a whole, with its muted brass and slow paced lament for a relationship. If you're into songs that deal with things like the seasons as a mirror of changing feelings (Sleeper) and the pains and insights of childhood (the majestic Glory), set in a musical mode similar to a cross between old folk hymns and Laura Veirs at her quietest and most reflective, then I can really recommend this as a record you can sink into - shades of a dark winter's evening of reflections with the photo album by the fire. If you like your music light and frothy, then this will probably give you the blues big time.