Monday, May 16, 2022

Kevin Morby - This is a Photograph


Kevin Morby has a tendency to release too many records. In an age where a two to three year gap between the release of albums is deemed the decent thing to do, his indecent haste means that he's possibly not given due for the consistent excellence of what he does put out.

I confess, I haven't listened to everything he's done since 2016's Singing Saw, the quite wonderful album of his that first came to my notice. There's just been too much of it. Too many slight but distinct changes of direction and perspective. Everything I've heard has been good but somehow the sheer amount of it has sometimes been difficult to absorb and appreciate.

But I have given his latest This is a Photograph a few listens since it came out last Friday, and I like it very much. Inspired here it seems by a heart attack his father experienced ay the beginning of Covid and Lockdown, (fortunately he pulled through), Morby is pulling out all the stops.

To do what exactly? To make a big statement it seems. About the life experience itself and our journey through it and its joys and pains, its highs and lows, and doing all we can to savour and enjoy it. Morby is first and foremost a Dylan inspired artist but he casts his net much wider this time.

There are duets with female collaborators, most notably Erin Rae as well as his own partner Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield. Child choirs, I'm always a sucker for those. All played out over wonderfully judged rootsy Americana campfire musical settings, Morby is remarkably only 34, but he's always had wisdom far beyond his years. On This is a Photograph he comes across as a past master.

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