Saturday, June 16, 2012
"Headwaters" by Del Barber Review
It seems as though Del wants to stray away from what he has been comfortable with during his, as my friend Mark put it, Jack Johnson days to his current country/alt-country days. From wah pedals and distorted guitars to clapping and cello to name a few instruments, Del experiments with delving in deeper into the alt-country side of music. This is prevalent on the first track entitled "Love and Wine." Busting out some triablesque drum beats, it makes you feel like you are in the wild west and some outlaw is about to come rolling through town. I don't know if Del was going for that, but that's what I got from the beat.
The second track entitled "Everything Is Not Enough" and it continues on in the same vain of being different as you immediately hear a wah pedal. A wah pedal you ask? That's right. This is another departure for Del. It's not something he has used on his past albums. But as you weave through the rest of the album, that's not all that is a departure for him as there is reverb on the song "Can't Turn Around."
Continuing on his kick of country music, "Believe Me" has that classic country feel. It's no surprise considering he is trying to be totally country with how he sounds when he talks, dresses (somewhat), and what have you. This seems to be a comfortable transition for Del. I'm not saying he is going to dress like they do in mainstream country music because that's not Del. That's too cowboy for him. But he will do more of an alt-country look. But what does that look like?
I've heard people say that "Soul of the Land That's Mine" is not a good fit for the album. I would have to agree. It seems out of place. It's good that he didn't start the album off with this song. It seems slow compared to the rest of the album. Sure a lot of songs are slow, but this is slow in a way that you have to listen to to get.
Even though this album is different from what Del has done in the past, it is still recommended that you give it a listen. Being that it is different, you might find this album harder to get into. It may take a number of listens to truly appreciate what he was intending to do when he made it different. Either way this one is not a miss.