Smart, witty, sensitive urban poet David Rice plays some beautiful and funky music on his 12-string guitar. The problem with Orange Number Eight is that the words and music never quite fit together. Rice is clearly attempting to force square-peg lyrics into round-hole melodies, and consequently the tunes are stretched into all sorts of improbable shapes. Rice and co-producer David Thompson do their best to hide the problem with some excellent folk production, using accordions, partial drum kits, and various other appropriately sparse instrumental choices. But Rice's songs clearly would work better live as a sort of performance art. There are at least two noteable exceptions: "Peter Sellers" is an engagingly upbeat and offbeat slice of urban dating life, and "Instrumental" features some gorgeous, mellow fingerstyle guitar. The Justice Records version is a reissue of an independent release.
AllMusic Review by Darryl Cater