CD FOLK [Howie B] (CD 1344990),
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FOLK [Howie B]

  • 1. Making Love on Your Side
    2. All This Means to Me
    3. Musical Mayday
    4. Touch
    5. Duet
    6. Watermelon Sugar
    7. Hey Jack
    8. My Wee Cod Piece
    9. Tap Dancer
    10. Telephone
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 5497842

  • Credits

    Folk, the album on which Howie B doesn't go for the electro gusto and channels his energy into outward bound gear, seeking the organic, the international, the mysterious, and the mental is a more curious affair than anything he's issued previously. Essentially, it is a slew of disparate stories from a musical burn case who keeps one of his personalities focused firmly on the mixing deck and the other fluidly appearing and disappearing in space -- outer and inner. Folk is still very much a human record, maybe even more so than Music for Babies or Turn the Dark Off, in that it is far more intimate. Fans of the cozy Howie B will dig the hell out of "Making Love on Your Side," the album's opening track, with it's glistening, noir-ish gypsy blues ambience, or the over-the-edge desperate love song with Robbie Robertson on "All This Means to Me." Here, as Roberston makes an actual attempt to sing his part, Howie goes for a greasy little trip-hop groove that is more smoky and seductive than in your face. But they're strange, too; there's a high-tech kind of eeriness at the heart of the mix that undoes itself and makes the protagonist come off as obsessive -- which he is. Proving that the Middle Eastern voices and the borrowed international themes are part of a bigger picture, B proves that he sees his role more as a guiding collaborator than as a solo artist. The Robertson track is one example, but it's stellar opposite is even more intriguing, a cover of David Essex's "Rock On" as a duet between ex-Virgin Prune Gavin Friday and new voice on the block Karmen Wiyjnberg. Wiyjnberg also makes an appearance on the dark, silvery funk of "Musical Mayday." This is a confusing little record to be sure, with its threads sticking out all over by the end, but it's also compelling enough to make you listen a dozen times just to see if you can nail it down. ~ Thom Jurek

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