Jonathan Wilson: Rare Birds (Bella Union) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Jonathan Wilson

Rare Birds

Bella Union

Mar 06, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Find It At: AMAZON

Rare Birds certainly has one of the more apt names for new releases that you will see in 2018. These are songs that are structured in something that you would consider a conventional manner, featuring artists that you would assume would be in Jonathan Wilson's orbitLana Del Rey appears the perfect female counterpart, Father John Misty the label-mate superstarand yet, there is something off, something that prevents it from being the experience that you want it to be.

The issue with the record is one of self-editing. Thirteen songs, all of which are over four-and-a-half-minutes in length, and only a couple that contain bona fide ear-worms that you can't help but get out of your head once you've heard them"Over the Midnight" and "Loving You" being the primary examplesresulting in an album that feels bloated and suppressed by the very nature of its scope. It isn't to say that the other tracks are horrible. It is merely a case of a writer that doesn't know how to kill his darlings.

Rare Birds leaves its listener with a heavy heart, not because of the poor content it contains, but more the underwhelming feel that most of it gives off. It is a record that contains nuggets of potential, and realizes them as fully as it possibly can. But ultimately, there's too much of it and not enough of the tracks here are anything other than mediocre, indie singer/songwriter tunes that are as easily discarded as they appear to be easily written and produced. (

Author rating: 5.5/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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