LIMITED PRE-SALE TICKETS REMAIN FOR ALE FEST 2018 - GET YOURS TODAY!

Favorite

Joe Henry 

Civilians (Anti-)

You wouldn't think someone married to Madonna's sister would have something against writing pop ditties, but that seems to be the case with Joe Henry. (Other than "Don't Tell Me," the hit single he wrote for Madge's 2000 album, Music, that is.)

Bouncing between genres as varied as alt-country and jazz -- not to mention producing critically acclaimed albums for Elvis Costello, Solomon Burke, and Ani DiFranco -- Henry is hard to slap a label on. This holds especially true for his 2003 effort, Tiny Voices; let's just call it "beautifully inaccessible."

His latest disc, however, is stripped-down, often featuring little more than his vulnerable voice, guitar, and basic percussion. The lyrics, too, are simple. "Time is a lion, and you are a lamb," he sings on "Time Is a Lion," Civilians' standout track. Even while speaking to themes like betrayal and warfare, Henry manages to keep it catchy and easy. It's not that his backup players aren't talented -- they are -- or that Henry's production isn't layered -- it is. There's just something satisfying about such a complex artist simplifying things for us simple folk.

Speaking of CD Review

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Michael Blackson @ Improv Comedy Club & Restaurant

    • Fri., April 20
  • Tristan and Isolde @ Severance Hall

    • Sat., April 21 and Thu., April 26
  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2018 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation