Darrell Scott

The Invisible Man

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Mortality hangs heavy in Darrell Scott's mind on The Invisible Man, an album that repeats again and again, "live today 'cause tomorrow never knows." For fans, this serious streak will be familiar from songs like "With a Memory Like Mine" from 2000's Real Time with Tim O'Brien. But even the titles here -- "Let's Call It a Life," "Do It or Die Trying," and "In My Final Hour" -- stress a deepening of Scott's mediation. He surrounds these thoughts with heavy acoustic-electric arrangements that still take time out for gentle acoustic songs like the piano-based "Looking Glass." Acoustic guitar and Dobro kick off "Hank Williams' Ghost," hammering a riff that closely resembles "Sweet Home Alabama." After 30 seconds, an electric guitar, thumping bass, and steady backbeat join behind Scott's soulful, gritty country vocals. The midtempo pacing makes it a good lead song, though the melody line -- and this is true on the remainder of the album -- isn't immediately memorable. Lyrically, when not considering mortality, Scott worries over world peace, the have-nots, and other heavy issues, creating top-heavy songs like "I'm Nobody" that feel more like sermons. While Scott remains a thoughtful writer, soulful singer, and a fine musician on The Invisible Man, his work here lacks the richness of earlier, less self-conscious efforts like 1999's Family Tree.

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