Brooks Williams

Nectar

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    8
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On Nectar, Brooks Williams continues to push the boundaries of his contemporary folk, incorporating elements of rock and electric blues into much of the album. He also refrains from any virtuoso performances, delivering very little of his usual flashy fretwork. While this might disappoint some, the simplified approach magnifies his improvements as a songwriter. "Birth of the True" opens the album with an effective stab at melodic pop/rock, while "Great Big Sea" is a fun tribute to Chuck Berry complete with rolling drums, lyrical double entendres, and his signature stuttered guitar chords. The melancholy "May You Never" is an optimistic slice of acoustic blues that is given a country tinge by a lovely, understated slide guitar solo. "Singing in the Dark" counters its funky acoustic guitar riff with a stark tale of heartbreak, while "She Loves Me (When I Try)" is a lovelorn ballad that comes closest to his mellow early work. At just under 40 minutes, Nectar is a concise effort that emphasizes Williams' growth as a songwriter, filtering his many influences into a delightful folk-pop effort that de-emphasizes his technical prowess and continues his streak of winning albums.

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