Ward White

Artificial Light

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With only six tunes on the album, listeners might expect to be short-changed of the opportunity to hear the true essence of the artist, but Ward White has come shining through with a truly unique piece of work. "Punk Rock Girl" is a solid country-rock number, with some straight-ahead drumming blended with catchy guitar riffs and powerful vocals with deep lyrics. "Country Music Highway" comes off with some enticing layered guitar effects, while the lyrics are thought-provoking with well-sung passages. The drumming on this tune is exemplary, with just the right amount of fills to accentuate and give the song breadth. One effect that got very little use in the '90s is the tremolo -- "I Don't Dance" incorporates this effect into its sound, and uses strings to give it its mellow, soothing quality. White booms into "Baby" with its Eric Clapton vein of intricate phrasings -- the best vocal performance of the album. The review wouldn't be complete without the mention of the title track. This tune stands out with the vocal effects against the backdrop of the clean sound of an acoustic guitar and has a Pink Floyd quality that can't be denied, leaving listeners virtually slammed by the masterful music.