David Wilcox

Turning Point

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On his sixth album, David Wilcox finally got around to giving his side of what happened during his five-year, three-album sojourn on a major label between 1989 and 1994. After leaving it, he made the delightful, if uncharacteristic live album East Asheville Hardware, but on Turning Point he reflected on what it had been like to be a "Human Cannonball," reaffirmed his sense of non-traditional spirituality ("Secret Church," "Silent Prayer"), and celebrated romantic and domestic joys. As usual, the singing was sincere, the lyrics a little obtuse, and the guitarwork inventive. You couldn't help thinking that he was straining to find a breakthrough here, and after showing off the more entertaining side of himself on his live album, it seemed more a retreat than an advance. He reserved his sense of humor for the final track, "Waffle House," which came after a delay to let you know it differed from the rest of the record, but that was the problem-maybe if he could integrate his comic sensibility with his more earnest tendencies, he would be easier to like.

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