Blake Rainey

The Dangerous Summer

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"Patience" is the word that will again strike you, listening to Rainey's second solitary-sounding second solo LP. Unexpected, given his work fronting Atlanta's decade-old, smokin' Replacements/Hüsker Dü-ish garage power-poppers the Young Antiques, Rainey's solo about-face is 10 more songs of a whispery, slow acoustic folk filled with a slightly nervous grace. Can a rocker get this mellow without being dull? Yes (ask Neil Young, on the similar Harvest Moon), and there's enough cozy percussion, cello, and piano to fill out the backgrounds, keeping Blake's light touch from being too slight -- leaving the focus on his vulnerable voice. Even falsetto high notes in a few choruses seem sociably stirring rather than over-dramatic. There's no evident connection between this music and Ernest Hemmingway's 1960 non-fiction Spanish bullfighting-rivalry memoir, The Dangerous Summer, but if you want "matters of heart" as finely woven as this, 2007's Dangerous Summer is your aural Valerian tea.

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