Boo Hewerdine, Anon

David Pakman

By David Pakman

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Classic ’70s-style singer-songwriting meets both despair and hopefulness.

One common characteristic of great singer-songwriters, it seems, is a distinct lack of mass commercial success, or even general public awareness. Boo Hewerdine is no exception. In the '80s he led a fine British band called the Bible, but his solo work goes largely unnoticed. His approach is not dissimilar to classic '70s singer-songwriters like Dan Fogelberg, with gentle chord progressions and simple, rising melodies. The production is excellent in its simplicity, managing to be both powerful and placid. Hewerdine shows the same sensitivities to the craft of songwriting as, say, Marc Cohn (listen to "Dream Baby") in the way he fuses despair and hopefulness in the same piece. He demonstrates his skill at co-opting Nashville techniques ("Apple Tree"), using nature as a metaphor for love and relationships. Some particular treasures on this record are "Extras," "Roundabout" (with its tasteful piano work and Beatlesesque chord changes) and "Kite."