Withered Hand | Good News

Absolutely Kosher (2011)
By NICK A. ZAINO III  |  March 17, 2011
3.5 3.5 Stars


Good News is the sound of a gifted writer declaring his humanity in all its filthy, fucked-up glory. Not that Dan Wilson, the singer-songwriter at the heart of this Scottish band, would use that word, exactly. He's searching for something more elemental. "You can keep your blood/You can keep your glory/I'm just looking for my voice," he sings on "I Am Nothing." Wilson is profound but ever humble and self-depreciating. On the woebegone anthem "For the Maudlin," he sings, with great non-ironic humor, "Every sunrise I see takes the piss out of me." On "Religious Songs," he finds himself on the outside looking in at both holy ritual and sex, but at least in lust he can satisfy himself. Lust versus religion is a favorite theme - on "Love in the Time of Ecstasy," he'd rather fight a skeleton army than face a transparent bikini. The humility extends to the arrangements - simple country, folk, and indie-rock structures, with plucking banjos and acoustic guitars, or the occasional electric guitar. The only bad thing about Good News is that it was released in 2009 in the UK but not in the US. Kudos to Absolutely Kosher Records for correcting that.

Related: The next great young singer you need to know: Amy Allen, Photos: The Decemberists at the House of Blues, The Mekons | Ancient & Modern, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Dan Wilson, sex, Indie Rock,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious

 See all articles by: NICK A. ZAINO III