Thursday 17 May 2012

Denison Witmer - The Ones Who Wait

Album review by KevW

Introspective singer-songwriter Denison Witmer endured an emotional rollercoaster ride during this album's creation, from the death of his father to the news that he was about to become a dad himself, you can hear the raw emotions coursing through veins of this album from opening line "Of all the weather here, I like rain the most". Unfortunately that's about as exciting as it gets. Channelling major life events into songs can be therapeutic and has resulted in some of the most moving compositions ever committed to tape, and while 'The Ones Who Wait' is undoubtedly an open and honest record, it safely plots a course directly down the middle of the road.

In the past Witmer has drawn comparisons to Paul Simon, and although both favour their guitars acoustic and share a vocal similarity, few of Simon's quirks and individuality are captured here. These songs are nice enough and you can't fault the intention and feeling that has gone in to them, but nothing sticks out, nothing grabs you. Although repeat listens do begin show things in a better light, it's not enough to instil much in the way of excitement or empathy. There's just little in the way of power, it all feels rather beige with a default setting of 'pedestrian'.

'Hold On', 'Influence' 'Every Passing Day' and others as compositions are fine, but nothing more. When there are other people out there doing the same thing with much more flair and spark (see Paul Cook & The Chronicles as one obvious example) it's difficult to see just where the audience for 'The Ones Who Wait' will lie, outside of existing fans or people who are getting a bit concerned that Damien Rice hasn't released anything for a while. Like flat-pack furniture, this record fulfils its basic function but doesn't provide much in the way of character.

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