08 April, 2008

"It seems the world at any second could be a memory..."

The title of this post is a particularly poetic line from the song "Sun Down" on Nik Freitas' new album Sun Down. I like this music, with its uncertain blend of Elliot Smith, Mason Jennings, and the Beatles. It's spring-time music, and it helps the listener thaw out without losing any of its intelligence.

"Sun Down" mellowly melodizes, while Freitas' voice lightly wavers over words that flow "...off, like endless rain into a paper cup...". "Oh My God" follows with a bursting Gospel feeling, replete with humming chorus and a crescendo of piano drama. Freitas' lyrics are again poetic and also fairly clear. He sings: "My heart's been living inside of me. My heart's been drawing pictures you don't want to see." The concepts elucidated in these lyrics are far from archaic, and are actually incredibly accessible. "All The Way Down" is the Broadway show-stopper, that hits all of the high notes imaginable; while, the gentle "What You Become" is resignedly melancholy, albeit with a spark of hope. Songs named after girls are generally kind of mundane, but "Sophie" rumbles like early, electric Dylan (who just won a Pulitzer, by the way) and shuffles like an addict on a Lou Reed kick. Hit the psychedelic notes with "Love Around", a song that would've made Woodstock proud; and then "It Ain't Like That" follows with a marching precision, and a consistency that is a far stretch from trippy. The final triad is comprised of "See Me There", "Comes To Me", and "Shhhh". "See Me There" is soft and piano driven, but nothing wowing. "Comes To Me", on the other hand, is probably my favorite track on the whole album. Yet again, I am blown away by a single line: "...When you've been skipping stones against decisions you've made..." That imagery is fantastic, and at the same time we hear shuffling percussion, and intermittent, echoing piano. "Shhhh" is a circular piece, that ties in nicely with the rest of the album and finishes Sun Down with a whisper.

Nik Freitas has four albums that I can find, but I would recommend starting with Sun Down, and working your way back. It's a gorgeous album, and it deserves to get significant play in anyone's stereo.

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