What You Whispered
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
With What You Whispered, David Wilcox returns to basics. It's a very stripped-down acoustic album where the songs matter and the lyrics shine. |
Wilcox is extremely introspective in this album, co-produced by Wilcox and fellow musician/songwriter Jim Infantino. I can't say that this is Wilcox's best work. It's not as slick as his album Underneath, which had some of the tracks receiving a lot of radio airplay, resulting in radio guest appearances and local contests for people to be flown to hear David live. It seemed that Wilcox's career was on the upswing with Underneath." I am unconvinced that What You Whispered will elevate him further. Not that it's a bad album - it isn't. It does take a number of listens before you get the message Wilcox is trying to convey. The lyrics are always well-written and satisfying; the music less so.
Wilcox examines relationships in this album. One of the more interesting songs, and my favorite is Start With The Ending:
This is a fairly mellow album that showcases Wilcox's guitar and voice, enveloping each song with thoughtful reflection.
One of the more beautiful songs was co-written by Beth Neilson-Chapman. Deeper Still is simply done, just Wilcox and his guitar, reflecting on the nature of love:
In the Broken Places tells of finding strength, while Rule Number One suggests you shouldn't hesitate to get up and run if your date is rude to the waiter.
Some great guitar work can be found in Step Into Your Skin, a song that describes the need to step inside yourself:
As always, David Wilcox is an intelligent songwriter who uses irony and images to convey his message. With What You Whispered, he has stripped down the commercial vehicle of Underneath for a back to basics album.
After writing the review, I received the completed album, liner notes and all, and discovered that my idea of this stripped down back to basics album from Wilcox was the effect he was looking for. As Wilcox recorded the CD to demonstrate the songwriting process from the beginning notions of songs through their development into a full fledged album, we get to witness the creative process as it's happening and see its final result. It is a big risk for Wilcox to try to follow up his last successful album, but I think it's worth a listen.