David Young 2022
When good vibrations are given a beat, banalities fly out the window for the right team – including Peter Gabriel’s rhythm machine – to be victorious.
Having issued an astonishing number of albums – at least 67! – and a few books over the last two decades, David Young didn’t quite make a splash on the music scene, which might be natural given the Woodstock dweller deals mostly in new age, but this record is about to change the listener’s perspective of him. No, the healing messages and folklore melodicism are still here, yet there’s also a proper groove to drive “Love Wins” along rock ‘n’ roll lines to the land of hope, if not glory – inviting Tony Levin and Jerry Marotta in your studio cannot fail to pay off – and that’s what should attract many more people to the American’s ensemble’s ever-fresh sonics than such spiritually and emotionally charged titles as “Heaven Is The Place” may suggest.
So while the acoustic softness of opener “Everybody In The World” caresses one’s soul with six-string lace and vocal harmonies of the classic Laurel Canyon variety, the delicate movement of low-end frequencies adding to the positive vibe, and the mandolin-flaunting flutter of the titular track offers a balm-like effect, the calypso-scented “The Best Is Yet To Come” and the ska-kissed “Everyday” come across as a wake-up call of sunshine. Perhaps, the tremulous balladry of “I See The World With Different Eyes” makes its chamber solemnity a tad too straightforward, yet the intent behind it is too kind-hearted to put off the cynics, who will embrace the country filigree of “The Other Side Of The Clouds” as well, and possibly even the hypnotic “Troubled Waters” – all seven minutes of this hushed epic. But then, “The Way Of Love” gets twangy in a boogie way to provide the platter’s finale with unexpected swagger and ram the record’s main message home – most persuasively.
New age or nor, that’s the way to progress.