A few months ago, I wrote rather dismissively about a lot of what you have created musically since David Baerwald became a part of your creative past. Later, I heard "Good Is Good" from your new CD. Then, tonight, I heard your new CD in its entirety. You pretty much own me again.
This release, Wildflower, is a thing of beauty. It stands up there with your first release from so many years ago. It even seems to surpass it right this minute. It rivals my girl Aimee Mann, reminds me a bit of Sam Philips, and is the smoothest, coolest thing I have listened to in a long time.
I read an interview where you said that with John Shanks producing, instead of you producing yourself, you was able to really just focus on the songwriting and your own vocals in a way that you hadn't for previous releases. I can hear that your voice does seem to resonate in a way I haven't heard before. Your perfectly controlled raspiness complements the richly arranged songs in just the perfect way.
I suppose Wildflower could be just a little bit more quirky for my taste. It seems to get close to it with "Live It Up", albeit in a good-vibe, positive-anthem kind of way, but you totally lost me with "Always On Your Side" which just feels made for cheesy first dances at weddings across the globe. Still, it's a strong record and I thank you for it.