by: Beaver Nelson

Beaver Nelson's bread and butter has also been finding a strong melody, building on it and using traits that Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner could eerily relate to. This album is no different and flows flawlessly as a result. From the slow country-ish opener, "Let Us Build a Monument," the singer creates a lovely swaying tune that never breaks out from its Americana mold. "Let's do something wonderful, let's do something grand," he sings as if placing the bar higher than he did with previous albums like Legends of the Super Heroes. The short, poppy "It Really Shouldn't Be So Hard" recalls a softer Elvis Costello or Nick Lowe gem. Nelson finally cranks up the amps somewhat on another finely crafted Petty-esque "Minute Man." But he is equally at home on the slower and somber "Tell Me" and "Good, Good, Good," which brings to mind the Cash Brothers. Perhaps the highlight is the simple laid-back country flavor on the toe-tapping "Orion's Belt" complete with harmonica. If there's one drawback it might be that he follows this simple but picture-perfect style once too often. As well "Too Many Words" is a tad hokey. Fortunately "Webs on a Hubcap" atones for the miscue with his best performance. The campfire ramble of "I Got's to Go" is a surprise for Nelson, as he's able to keep it all in check for nearly five minutes. It's a strong album that has much more substance than listeners are often privy to. ~ Jason MacNeil

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.