Freedy Johnston

Blue Days Black Nights

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The darkest, most understated Freedy Johnston record to date, Blue Days Black Nights is also the singer's most intimate effort, largely rejecting the quirky character studies of prior outings in favor of more plainly personal narratives, and revealing new shades of depth and honesty in the process. Co-producers T-Bone Burnett and Roger Moutenot cloak Johnston's songs in dusky atmospherics which underscore the music's spare beauty -- far removed from the crackling pop flavor of the preceding Never Home or even the shimmering folk of This Perfect World, Blue Days Black Nights possesses a hushed gravity which insinuates itself only over repeated listens. At times the results are overly ponderous, but a handful of tracks -- the opening "Underwater Life" and "Moving on a Holiday" included -- rank among Johnston's finest.

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