"At last I understand the consequences/Of my love" Ken Stringfellow sings on the opening track of Touched, his latest cd. And his fans can be grateful that the consequence of his love for music is an amazing album rarely paralleled in today's pop-trash- 'disposable' music world.
Touched is a consistent and wonderful album, ranging from deep sadness to elation, despair to hope, with each emotion bearing Stringfellow's trademark violin-strum of a voice. A fantastic work.
The second track, "This One's on You," an anthem to new love and infatuation, brings about a needed sunbreak from the depression-infused (complete with country-twang) song, "Down Like Me."
The album goes on to explore themes of the confining binds of religion (without getting too specific), to an exploration of finding love that one feels they have to hide, and how ridiculous this is("Uniforms").
"Reveal Love," a gorgeous, catchy song, with a great guitar riff, is one of the highlights of the album, a true pop gem.
"One Morning" is a Beatles-esque little tune with some very happy/fanciful guitar work (as well as a sunny and beautiful vocal harmony).
"Spanish Waltz" is an interesting little number with a unique melody, and Fireflies is a telling tale of some sort of smoky Rock'n'Roll myth.. the man, once a child on the beach and surrounded by beautiful fireflies, is now a man, searching for new forms of light and beauty. The only song without a traditional chorus, it stands on its own, with its haunting background organ sequence.
Lover's Hymn is a fabulous foray into an R&B-influenced world. With its enticing organs and fantastic concept, LH is a prayer of sorts, for love, for ecstasy... a lasting, inventive effort. As Ken strays from Posies territory, he is clearly finding his own brilliant way to go.
The album rounds out with the now-classic, "Here's to the Future," which first appeared on Ken's initial solo album, This Sounds Like Goodbye, in 1997.
Looking forward to Solo Record #3 from the aptly named Stringfellow, not to mention any new Posies efforts. Highly recommended.