Jonathan Cain

Where I Live

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There is a truth within the title of Where I Live, Jonathan Cain's eighth solo album and second record for AAO Music. This collection of 12 songs is about where he lives -- not just geographically, but emotionally. Over the course of this album, he sings about where he's from, where he's at, and where he's going; about love, family, and country; and also about how Marlon Brando changed everything, the transforming nature of a love of dogs, and how music remains a true love. It all intertwines to create a remarkably fully realized self-portrait, an album that seems to touch upon all the important strands in Cain's life; it adds up to his most striking, intimate record yet. Appropriately, Where I Live has an intimate sound: by and large, it's a simple, piano-driven affair, featuring Cain's voice front and center. Even when it gets dramatic -- as on the sweeping chorus of "Man's Best Friend" or the harmonica that gives "Before Brando" a rebellious flair -- this is contemplative music, yet it's not alienating: it's sweet and warm, the sound of Cain sharing his heart and soul with the world. Unlike his previous Bare Bones, this is not a smooth jazz release, although there are elements of that style within the record's sound and feel. This is a songwriter's record, which makes it unique among Cain's solo work not only in its form but in its emotional impact: listening to Where I Live feels like a revealing conversation with Cain, which is why it's one of his best albums.

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