Twain - Noon Music Album Reviews

Twain - Noon Music Album Reviews
The songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who’s collaborated with Big Thief, the Deslondes, and the Low Anthem returns with a sparse, earnest collection that occasionally overstates its message. 

At the end of “Noon,” the first song on Twain’s new album of the same name, Matthew Davidson makes a promise to someone long departed: “I will not forget,” he sings over a simple piano theme and a volley of solemn cymbal crashes. It’s not the words that hit so hard, but the way he delivers them, in particular the way he delivers that last one. He holds that final note for way too long, sustaining that vowel until his voice quivers and feathers into the air. It sounds unplanned, a spontaneous decision, an act of intuition that gestures toward a bittersweet realization: Simply not forgetting will not be enough to keep that person in his life. That long note also reminds you that there’s a physical body singing the airy songs on Noon. For better or for worse, the music might just float away if he didn’t tether it.

A music industry equivalent of a character actor, Davidson is one of those veteran musicians whose work you’ve heard even if you missed out on Twain’s 2017 breakthrough, Rare Feeling, or any of his solo releases since. In the late 2000s he joined the Low Anthem and helped them expand their scope and palette; more recently, he has been playing fiddle with the Deslondes and working with Big Thief, even contributing to their recent double album Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You. Twain is his leading role, an opportunity to step toward the front of the stage. Especially for a multi-instrumentalist credited with guitar, keys, and pedal steel on such a wide variety of projects, there’s something startling about the restraint he shows on Noon. He keeps the arrangements light, sparse yet spry, and he jettisons the electric guitar and drums of Rare Feeling for a sound that mixes acoustic guitar with soft percussion and flourishes of piano and reeds.

Far and away the most prominent instrument, however, is his voice: a high, slightly nasal sound just shy of a croak, recalling the mannerisms of Andrew Bird or any of the freak-folkies of the 2000s. Davidson has a tendency to rush into a melody and to worry over a phrase until it becomes a mantra. This approach conveys a quiet excitement: utter commitment to whatever he’s singing about. He’s unceasingly, unrelentingly earnest on Noon, without the wryness or humor you might expect from someone who describes their album as a “self-caricature of the musician and writer Matthew Davidson.” That tone can be limiting, but it does highlight his knack for investing mundane situations with deep meaning, whether he’s sharing a joint with a cook (“2 Lovers”) or driving his tour van into the sunrise (“The Priestess”).

Just as Davidson can make you think catching up with an old friend is a sublime experience, he can indulge lofty philosophical ideas that overstate his message. Lines like “Beauty is wanting to be what you really are” suffocate every other sentiment and crowd out all nuance, all without sounding particularly profound. Noon becomes especially cumbersome when he tries to address current political concerns. “Please don’t let them outlaw silence,” he begs on “Vitality,” which sounds like a social media post rendered in florid language: “That is where peace likes to grow.” You can agree with him on every issue and still think “King of Fools” is far too obvious a polemic. “I see a couple children fighting over toys/How long must they die and die and die to satisfy the king of fools?” Won’t somebody please think of the children?

The album title refers to the lowest point in the pendulum swing, a midpoint in a cycle of reaction and action, questioning and understanding. It’s an intriguing idea, but too often Davidson sounds like he is singing from a place of enlightenment, where he can see everything—his past and our present—with perfect clarity. There’s no sense of him figuring things out, which deflates so much of this ambitious album. Enlightenment is never as compelling as the rocky road to get there.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Twain - Noon Music Album Reviews Twain - Noon Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on November 07, 2022 Rating: 5


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