Thursday, March 5, 2009

Shawn Smith review in SEATTLE SOUND MAGAZINE


Shawn Smith
The Diamond Hand (Sound Vs Silence)

4 1/2 stars
Shawn Smith somehow remains a quiet giant in Seattle’s music scene, despite having fronted bands (Satchel, Brad, All Hail the Crown) and issuing solo albums for more than 15 years. His latest solo effort, The Diamond Hand, picks up where 2004’s Shield of Thorns left off, weaving funk, pop, blues and gospel elements into a beautiful, danceable, rock-lite set. “Losing Home,” “Breathe In,” “At War” and other songs feature layers of piano, sax, flute, snares, claps and backup vocals that keep your head bouncing. Three of the last four tracks slow it down, feeling flat by comparison—though Smith’s philanthropic, reflective lyrics keep you tuned in through the last track, “For Everyone to See.” The Diamond Hand showcases an experimental, multi-talented artist at the peak of his solo game, an artist that deserves to be heard across the country—not just on KEXP. CLINT BROWNLEE
Standout tracks: “Here Come the Holy Rollers,” “Losing Home”

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