Seth Glier – The Next Right Thing
2010, MPress Records
Boston-based singer/songwriter Seth Glier is all of twenty-one years old and is already preparing to release his second album on MPress Records. Twenty-two in years alone, Glier shows a depth and maturity of songwriting that seems antithetical to his youth. Glier’s next album, The Next Right Thing is due on January 11, 2011 and features a guest appearance from Edwin McCain. Glier writes from a deep well of experiences both personal and observed, and certainly appears to have taken things to the next level with The Next Right Thing. Seth Glier has appeared on the main stage at the Falcon Ridge Folk and Kerrville Folk Festivals, and has shared stages with the likes of McCain, Mark Knopfler, James Taylor and The Verve Pipe.
The Next Right Thing marks Glier as a rising star. The title track is a dynamic soul/gospel tune with a beating heart of urgency. “Walk Katie Home” is a song of devotion about the lengths we’ll go for love. The song is beautiful in its unadorned love and purity of thought. On “Lauralee” Glier provides us with a literate and mature view of love using wondrous imagery; sounding more than a bit like a young Billy Joel in the process. “First” is poetic and romantic; capturing the moments or experiences that can make love feel like new again. “Down With This Ship” makes ethical and sociological observations about the point of impact between faith and deceit. It’s a dynamic bit of songwriting that is certain to capture younger and older fans, as Glier seems to phrase the sort of problems that hit many in midlife in terms that are universal and accessible.
“I Don’t Need You” takes a look inside the life of someone who sees all of her friends passing her by while she stands still. The song expresses the mix of frustration and need in muted tones of resignation and is amazingly well written. “What Others Have Done” follows a soul who seeks himself in the whims and fancies of others; through the brief highs and the lengths of emptiness that ensue. The piano ballad style here is reminiscent of a cross of Billy Joel and Elton John. “Beauty In the Breakdown” seeks the silver lining in human pain. Glier displays a quietly dramatic sense here, and the arrangement is among the most complete and beautiful on the album.
“Book Of Matches” is simply brilliant. Glier turns the tragedy of losing a home into opportunity, finding the sense of freedom of no longer being encumbered with possessions, burdens or expectations. The imagery here is deep, and could have multiple interpretations (fire, divorce, death, etc.), but this proves the genius in the songwriting. “No Place To Land” captures the loneliness and displacement of someone who has been on the road so long it’s become the only home he knows. The extrapolation from what are Glier’s experiences playing 200 shows per year to a way of life is a logical leap that goes beyond your typical pop song. Glier closes with “Soul, Skin & Bones”; an incredibly poetic memorial in song that’s stark in its imagery but ultimately deeply loving. The palindrome simile Glier uses here is eye opening. This is how you close an album with an utter “Wow” moment.
Seth Glier is the sort of singer/songwriter that allows you to throw in a CD and get lost for an hour. Musically, he writes in subtle tones, crafting near-perfect settings for the stories he tells in song. Lyrically, Glier is an old soul, writing well beyond his twenty-two years in both poetics and depth of human understanding. The Next Right Thing is beautiful; brilliant; breathtaking. Glier sets the bar high for 2011. The Next Right Thing is a Wildy’s World Certified Desert Island Disc.
Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)