Low Water – The Taste You Know and Enjoy

January 01, 1970





John Leitera’s voice was made for this. Or maybe this was
made for John Leitera’s voice. What matters is the way the music and the vocals
work together, making the most of the Tweedy-esque ache in Leitera’s delivery,
whether rocking the bittersweet pop hooks like Wilco in “Summerteeth” mode on
the album’s most infectious track, “My Life in Advertising,” or topping the
chamber-pop charms of the mid-tempo rocker, “I Amplify,” with a gorgeous wall
of harmonies.


There’s a vulnerability to the vocals in all the right
places. And the lyrics more than hold their own against repeated spins, from
the Dylanesque opening track, “He’s Takin’ Names,” where “He knows that your
transgressions run into the scores and where you slipped last night and what’s
beneath the sores,” to the acoustic-guitar-driven “Me and St. Hubert” (“When
his cell phone rang, he knew it was the bishop but he refused to take the
call”). The arrangements are just as intriguing, though. In the opening track
alone, they set the tone with understated folk-rock, layer on dramatic strings
in a section that somehow manages to channel both ’70s soul and baroque pop and
come out the other side with a heavy guitar riff interrupted by a vocal break
that hits like a young Brian Wilson gone space-rock.


Takin’ Names,” “My Life in Advertising” A. WATT


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