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You're No Dream | La Société Expéditionnaire
By MIKE MILIARD  |  May 12, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars
Songwriter Tim Howard — who with whatever musicians happen to be in his orbit is Soltero — has been peripatetic lately. He moved from Boston to Philadelphia a few years ago, thence leapfrogging to France and back to Philly with a couple of sojourns in North Carolina mixed in. (Right now, he’s gigging from Bordeaux to Brussels, with stops in between.) Soltero’s fifth full-length finds him coloring his customary ruminations on relationships with varying senses of place, a palpable feeling of motion and displacement. Howard writes that “the more time I spent on the record, the more I wanted them [the songs] to be slight and unsure, like a novice pickpocket.” That shows on “Prick on the Prowl,” in which shaky strumming and spectral slide work effect some queasy nocturnal transmission as he pounds the Pavement on his soused and self-loathing rounds. Elsewhere, however, his arrangements are some of the most compelling yet, daubing the diaries of his peregrinations with unusual instrumentation and gauzy production. Among the best is the beautiful instrumental “Living in the Fish Islands,” which suggests the subaquatic movement of quicksilver schools via looped accordion, deep-thrumming percussion, pretty arpeggios, jingling bells, and propulsive organ weaves, undulating in and out, far and away.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Tim Howard , Entertainment , Music
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