There's a nakedness to Flint Zegler that falls just a bit short in the first cut, Martyrs, a song that doesn't quite reach the atmospherics of the rest of the slate, but the next two come down solidly, and the fourth blends between all three, raw but melodic, intriguing for its inventiveness while jarring and open-breasted, pouring forth the composer's angst and battles with the world. Frequent dissonance marks the cut, Bridge, as a track to be paid attention to, building on a rootsy folk baseline while stepping into a different dimension.
Zeigler's instrumental backing is crucial, spare but necessary, evocative, especially Paul Patterson's cello and violin. Zeigler himself has a strong Christian background but rarely pushes it into the listener's face, thus transcending dogma and cant, although things get a bit thick in In These Days, rescued by the singer's heartfelt sadness. The cut's a mini-opera genuinely tugging at emotions and memory, paced and dramatic, a plea to reconsider the way of things through recently passed icons.
Felt Like Rain is strong with Bruce Cockburn confidence and northern plains so that, by the time this segment of the CD is reached, the kindredness between the two is understood. Cockburn, a Christian mystic, writes quite similarly in this vein, though Zeigler's closer to the ground, more like a James Isaak (here) or perhaps one of those few times when Springsteen got real, way back when, remembering where he came from. The drama rises back up in Room of Cards, cymbals clashing, pulse accelerating, ragged voice calling for an honest re-assessment of society beneath individual lies. There's a lot of strength and honesty here, not always properly poeticized lyrically but urgent and reflective, with much to recommend the disc, especially as it has the feel which marks a penultimate prelude to what will be his true manifestation.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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