Friday, July 17, 2009
The Guardian (UK) gives Nothing Gold Can Stay 4 Stars
For his first release since leaving the Felice Brothers, Simone Felice - partnered by Robert Burke - has taken his new band's name from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. That might lead one to conclude that this is a back-to-the-porch record, unencumebered by acquaintance with modernity. Not so: if anything, this is the musical equivalent of one of those converted barns you see in Country Living magazine, in which the lovingly restored original beams are complemented by the latest designer kitchen. In fact, this might be the single most tasteful record of the year - former Notorious BIG producer Bassy Bob Brockman's mixing being the new kitchen to Felice and Burke's weathered beams. That's not to damn with faint praise, for on the likes of One More American Song, the harsh writing about an embittered veteran provides the tart twist necessary to undercut the gentle melancholy of the music. It can go wrong, though - Waterspider, with its amiable nods to "freedom fighters" and its assertion that "Jesus waked on water/ But so did Marvin Gaye" is Laurel Canyon smugness writ large for a new generation.