The Upshot: Erstwhile Grant Lee Buffalo mainman’s first collection of songs in years is consistently beautiful.
BY JOHN B. MOORE
It’s been almost five years since Grant-Lee Phillips last put out a solo record, but time has certainly not diminished his song writing at all, which is sharper than ever. His latest, The Narrows, his eighth solo record, is easily one of his best. It takes him further down the folk, mellow Americana route he flirted with on earlier efforts. You have to go all the way back to 2001’s Mobilize to find a set this consistently beautiful.
His first collection of songs since uprooting his life from California (his home for the past three decades) to Nashville, the album is generally a quieter affair. There are exceptions here and there, like the guitar/train chugging on “Loaded Gun,” or the up-tempo “Rolling Pin,” but the overall feel is one of quiet struggles and occasionally sweet romance.
Phillips calls this record both “personal and historical,” as he mixes his own experiences with stories of the Creek and Cherokee, both of whom he descends from. The result is a fantastic record, powerful in its calmness.
DOWNLOAD: “Moccasin Creek,” “Rolling Pin” and “Find My Way”