Joshua English

Lay Bare Your Bones

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More folk-rock 'n' alt country moved to Portland, Oregon? This transplanted Boston gent, late of Six Going on Seven a decade ago, at least throws in some late-'70s new wave energy to the light acoustic tunes and jitterbug Dixie pop formula. On the faster numbers such as "M-LV," he sounds like Neil Diamond (he has a similar voice) singing Elvis Costello's My Aim Is True or a Nick Lowe LP, only in a Charlie Daniels C&W twang. And that's not bad, but he's on more moving, personal ground on melancholic tunes such as "Beast! Upright" and the closing "Stay Until the Work Runs Out," where his lyrics express regret for past heights lost and ambitions unrealized. He's adroit at expressing this with regretful piano and organ parts, or crying guitar leads that reinforce a soul opening up.

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