...Whilst Honey Hums

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With Clemente, the duo of singer/songwriter Jefrey Siler and guitar/bassist Keith Bailey has carved out a niche as a storyteller of great power. On ...Whilst Honey Hums, however, he spends less time spinning stories, and more delving deeply into the intricacies of emotional issues and relationships. "Ambulance Drivers on Holiday Nights" is one of the few that doesn't fit this new pattern, a poignant look at men who use their jobs as an escape from their home lives. "Adoptive Wedge," too, is employment driven, but in this case tells the tale of a man who takes work to be near a much admired old friend. However, the rest of the set is not story driven, but emotionally driven. "As Sure as These Leaves," for example, explores a struggling relationship, as does "Selective Memory's Become," but with a sharper edge, while "Our Give to Get Era" has an equally decisive bite. A touch of exasperation here, a tinge of cynicism there, throughout this set love is tinged with sorrow and a distance that is always difficult to overcome. But life's like that, reality is no Norman "Rockwell" painting, as Siler starkly points out on that number. All told then, Honey is a deeply introspective set, and the universal truths told within are meant to be imbibed over time and album replays. As always, the pair's music provides a perfect backdrop, enhanced by both a guest guitarist and keyboardist. From the effervescent synth that bubbles around "Driving Home" to the '60s pop flavor of "Selective Memory's" and on to the C&W flavor of "Rockwell," the music subtly paints a variety of moods and backdrops, but inevitably it's Siler's lyrics that linger. An excellent album that draws you in and won't let you go.

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