It may only be Jonathan Wilson’s second record, but Gentle Spirit is wise well beyond its sophomore stature. The Laurel Canyon–dwelling music man has spent years in the studio, working alongside everyone from Jenny Lewis and Dawes to Robbie Robertson and Elvis Costello. Unsurprisingly, Spirit comes bearing the sounds of Wilson’s home turf; soothing pastoral lyrics, gently plucked acoustic guitars, and warm analog organ tones abound here. “Canyon in the Rain” is a folkie rambler-turned-anthem that evokes foggy L.A. days even as it soars through lines about being “wild and free.” And the finger-plucked intro of “Rolling Universe” gives way to a perfectly restrained, drum-aided refrain, gorgeously capitalizing on Wilson’s arsenal of über-talented friends. (Vetiver’s Andy Cabic and Otto Hauser and The Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson all contribute parts.) Whether or not you subscribe to the musical mystique of Wilson’s setting, though, you’re guaranteed to find something to love about this Spirit. Wilson plays SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.) on Wednesday, December 7. Visit clubmercy.com for tickets.
Monday, November 21, 2011
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