Kevin Morby - Singing Saw
Many artists will take on the moniker of a singer songwriter with varying levels of truth. While they may have some input on the eventual finished product of the song they certainly are not crafting it from empty space and have more than a few people helping them along the way. Not Kevin Moby, When you listen to the music of Kevin Moby it is not of an age, it exists outside of time taking a piece where ever he may find it. The clearest influences is the 60s singer song writers like Leonard Cohen and that comparison is not thrown around lightly. His music sounds like he is a weathered old vet of the scene having honed his craft into a fine steel, but when you find out He is only 29 the depth of this music takes on a whole new life. What becomes clear is the writing and the words take cetner stage from the very first note. The music is meant as a vehicle for the ideas that Moby wants to get across rather than the focal point. This can lead to a few songs perhaps going on to long because the idea is not fully flushed out just yet. The title track "Singing Saw" goes on for seven minutes with a great deal of it just an extended ending jam that takes an otherwise really good song and drives it in to the ground. You are willing to be patient with Moby as He works through his themes, but going on and on to no clear apex just feels like masturbation.
The narrative of each song is quite complex and enthralling like on "Destroyer" but the music is so plain and repetitive that it is hard to get past. You find yourself really wanting to get the connection that these songs seem to have but that click never really happens. The entire record is begging for a horn, or something to inject just a bit of life and energy into it, but that moment never comes. "Black Flowers" which features a choir is perhaps the only time we hear Moby really let the reins out a bit. It could be his vocals, which don't fluctuate all that much for the full 43 minutes, that take you out of it but it is hard not to be bored while listening to this record. Perhaps it would be a great study to dig into the lyrics deeply and see all the great little pieces of writing that Kevin Moby does, but that is not going to tug at your heart strings or make you want to listen to a song again and again. There is always a place for incredible singer song writers, but the song still needs to come to life, to break through. Singing Saw is a dream for people who are deep in to this kind of music, but as a whole you may find yourself struggling to just get through it. It's hard to say this is not a good record, because it is, but it just lacks that punch which would really make it have an impact. Too bad.
6.0 out of 10