Barnaby Monk 5 a.m., Aug. 20
1) Swept Away
2) Leading Man
3) Forty Days
4) Travel by Stars
5) Play On
6) A Good Day
7) So Slow
8) Little T-Bird Ragtop
9) It's Not the Moon That Cries
10) The Worst Thing
11) You Don't Miss It
12) Proud Mary
13) Smokey Bar
This album is a balmy stroll through the worlds of contemporary jazz and pop. Will Faeber's voice, a hybrid of Michael Bolton and John Tesh, fronts his latest collection of mellow jazz recordings.
From the harmony between piano and soft percussion in "Leading Man" to the sparse acoustics of "It's Not the Moon That Cries," the disc inspires reflection. Things perk up with the third cut, "Forty Days," which is a fusion of country, gospel, and jazz; fervent acoustics and bass work round out the track. "Travel by Stars" is the most promising song on the album; centered on the line "You can get lost in love," the cut excels because of the tight jazz rhythm section propelling it, not because of Faeber's tendency to get bogged down in homogenous lyricism.
Faeber does hit on an impassioned verse every now and then. One of his most memorable goes, "Everyone talks about the moon above, how she's a harsh mistress when you're in love / they talk about the ways she puts you under her spell / how she can break your heart or make you well / whichever way she turns the tides / it's not the moon that cries."
Faeber never flirts with improvisation; the lack of variety in the tempos causes the 12 arrangements to lack individuality. Though the album's cover depicting a picture of Faeber in an exaggerated air-guitar pose is a little much, one of the stronger aspects of his sound is the guitar, which occasionally seems to draw upon borrowed chords from Journey in order to liven things up. However, his subdued cover of John Fogerty's "Proud Mary" makes up for these transgressions.
--- Hometown CD Review 5-5-05
Will Faeber (vocals)
Peter Sprague (acoustic guitar)
John DePatie (electric/ Dobro guitar)
Barnaby Finch (piano, keyboards)
Bob Magnusson (acoustic bass)
Duncan Moore (drums, percussion)
Tripp Sprague (tenor saxophone)
Robbyn Kirmisse (background vocals)