Will Stratton – No Wonder
self released 2009
[tags: folk, folk rock, 2009, soft and hard]
Listen while reading:
The Country Clear (from No Wonder)
You’re A Real Thing (from No Wonder)
I like twitter, in fact I kind of love it even though I’m not the guy who tweets all day long I love reading musical news from mornig to night (and often from night to morning). Just the day before yesterday Will Stratton sent me a download link for his new album No Wonder – via twitter. No mail, no nothing. That’s just great.
But so much for the unimportant facts. More important is the music itself. You may be a bit irritated to listen to tracks like Nineteen (which I would describe as plain folk rock) or If Only (which I consider punk) on this blog because they are not the usual candidates. These two tracks are really furious and much harder than the rest but in a sort of good way (not sure If Only is really the good way) because they aerate the album so to say. This beeing said the rest of No Wonder is more chilled even though not as quiet as lots of the music normally reviewed here.
Very intimate moments alternate with more lively parts. Take The Country Clear for example. I think this is one of the best songs on the album and it is reduced to the core: vocals, finger picking and some strings together with loose femal background vocals. Pure beauty. Because of tracks like this I have to admit that I like the calm tunes the most and think that tracks like the indie driven You’re A Real Thing with it’s catchy bass line and a bit of a Sufjan Stevens influence are good but could have been better.
I got a mixed feeling about No Wonders because on the one side there are such great tracks like Take The Country or New Jersey or even Who Will which remind me a (really) little bit of Leonard Cohen. But on the other side there are the more aroused tracks like the mentinoned Nineteen or If Only. This combination does not work for me and it’s not because of the fact that the album isn’t coherent as a whole (remember: I’m a passionated Yo La Tengo fan) but because I think folk does not work like indie rock (this sounds kind of dumb…) and I have other expectations of what I listen to. But I don’t want to ruin the record for you and so instead of recommending the album I recommend to read the articles posted on Slowcoustic and Knox Road because the good guys over there like it more than I do. Nevertheless visit Will Stratton’s MySpace and personal homepage for further information. Check iTunes to buy No Wonder in a regular edition or with bonus tracks.