Saturday, May 9, 2009

"No Wonder"- WIll Stratton


After "What the Night Said", a spring album full of happy and melancholy tunes for the season, "No Wonder" returns in 2009 with the same shy-voiced 23 year-old Will Stratton. His almost whipsered vocals and lyrics paint pictures of summer evenings, old friends, old love, new love, and all the ups and downs of life; something he does so well portraying.
This time, Stratton is joined by several musicians that play a vital role in most of the songs. His voice is backed by a female singing just loud enough to grace the words with a feminine touch; this just makes his music even more endearing. If "What the Night Said" was his acoustic album with the touch of electric songs, "No Wonder" is his electric album with the touch of acoustic songs; the perfect balance.
"Who Will", the first song, starts the album off celestially. One of his most valiant, soul wrenching songs ever. After some light acoustic songs, "Robin and Marian" picks up with an 1800's song of a union miner who is trying to support his beautiful wife; a really moving story actually. "You're a Real Thing", is already a strong contendor for best song of the year. Yeah, it's that good. This song is his strongest lyrically, with several amazing lines; "The old ones wish that they were younger/so they would know what they know now"; wow. Such a deep analysis from such a young man. This album even dabbles in noise rock/punk. "Nineteen" and "If Only" rock this album. "It's Okay if you Want to" is another truly moving song. Just listening to the music can take you away; it was stuck in my head for days.
For me, this album was a huuuuuge step from his first effort, but I loved it even more. On "No Wonder", Stratton shows his best songwriting, and musicianship, and he shines. This album is already one of my picks for best of the year.
Key tracks: "You're A Real Thing", "It's Okay if you Want to"
Listen if you like: Ra Ra Riot, Fionn Regan

No comments: