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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Seth Glier - Things I Should Let You Know

Seth Glier - Things I Should Let You Know
2012, MPress Records
Two-time Independent Music Award winner and GRAMMY nominee (2011’s The Next Right Thing) Seth Glier is back with his most impressive work to date.  Things I Should Let You Know tackles adulthood; from the shoreline to wading in.  The 24-year old Glier shows a story-teller’s presence and sense of subtlety that speak of talent gilded longer than his tender years.

Glier sets sail with the eerie atmospherics of the title track. Glier's voice shares sonic real estate with former American Idol finalist Paul McDonald, but this opening track sets a pallid tone for the album. Glier finds a solid pop/rock groove on "The Man I Used To Be". The regretful depression of the story song is wonderfully at odds with the catchy arrangement and memorable melody.  A slow but solid beginning jumps into overdrive with "New World I See", a celebratory love song about a northern man who falls in love with a southern girl. Glier finds that personal, self-deprecating humor that drives the songwriting of folks such as Randy Newman and Lyle Lovett while weaving a story that engages you. All of this is done in a wonderfully salty New Orleans style arrangement that is full of life.

"Plastic Soldiers" is a heartbreaking story song that follows one man's journey from playing with plastic soldiers as a child to serving and being wounded in war to watching his son play with the same soldiers. Glier avoids preaching, rather allowing listeners to form their own ideas about the progression. Either way it’s a beautifully sad and moving moment. "The Stars And Glitter" is a cutting indictment to consumer culture and humanity's seeming willingness to enslave themselves for more stuff. The stark arrangement is compelling, and Glier's voice is amazing in this context.

"Down To The Wire" is an infectiously ambivalent rocker about falling in love. This leads into sonic resting space of "Interlude", a moment of quiet musical repose. Up next is "Good Man", which continues the love story from "Down To The Wire". Here the relationship is on, and he is surprised at the feelings in his heart. It's a mea culpa of sorts, an acknowledgement that he doesn't know what he is a doing with a promise to do right. Glier shifts gears with "Avery", a middle of the road pop rocker about a less than ideal friend. The story is well told here, but this track lacks the sort of spark Glier is capable of.

"Too Hard To Hold The Moon" is a touching love song with an unusual object. Glier mixes metaphors here, turning from the image to reality and back at irregular intervals. The song is touching and powerful and ultimately bathed in a sad beauty. "Poppies On The Table" explores a single moment that turns two worlds upside down. Glier offers a dynamic monologue in a catchy, vibrant arrangement while exploring long term mistakes and having the courage to change.  Glier gets contemplative while exploring truths about love and human imperfection on "Everything Beautiful". It's a beautiful, stripped down moment that is deep yet accessible. Glier closes with moral of the story in "I Am Only As Loved As I Am Open". The simple truth sweeps over him on his wedding day in the song, and it will connect with listeners who listen with their hearts.

Seth Glier shows that the sophomore slump is a myth with Things I Should Let You Know. Glier is a musical storyteller on a par with a young Randy Newman or Lyle Lovett. This cycle confirms that Glier's period Grammy nomination was no fluke. Don't be surprised if Glier hasn't shown us everything he's got. This guy just seems to be getting better as he goes.  Things I Should Let You Know is required listening, and a Wildy’s World Certified Desert Island Disc.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)
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