Breaking out of his usual space to think outside the box, Californian artist creates a half-intangible almost-masterpiece.
Even though the signs have been there for some time, given that 2021’s "Ember Days" offered the translucence of “A Solitary Interlude” for a finale, no Carl Weingarten follower, especially those who tuned in for his subsequent one-piece concert report, expected the American guitarist’s next album to be so brilliantly subdued in a six-string department and bristling with gentle electronica instead. A full-on instrumental effort, “Stop Me Try” may not feel as defiant as its title suggests it would, yet this album’s five numbers have much more going on than meets the ear in less than 33 minutes, their very denominations hinting at the music’s cinematic air. More so, they’re quietly eventful and keep the listener riveted to melodic proceedings at all times.
Preparing sonic spectators for surprises, the western expectations one could heap upon “A Fistful Of Dust” blow in their face right away, as hypnotic eastern groove and crystalline clang are coated with reedy, tumbleweed-like keyboards before Weingarten’s quasi-symphonic passages flesh it out and let the tentative twang take the cut off the ground. However, “Ides Of May” finds his slider-caressed licks underpinned by Michael Manring’s fretless bass which allows the motif to flow and graciously stumble only to support the notes that Carl will catch in acoustic web – a safety net of sorts. The two players interweave their tinsel lines on “Night Life Again” and snatch scintillating, if delicate, urban funk out of ether, all the while creating a platform for the romantic fusion of “For Rosa” – sweetly understated but concealing a riff – and building a thrill for the platter’s taut title track to surf into infinity.
That’s where this work belongs – there’s no reason to take up the challenge and stop Carl Weingarten try: otherwise, no wonders will be forthcoming.