The past couple of years have presented the market with multiple artists reinventing the acoustic folk genre by dragging the music kicking and screaming into the 21st century. In the underground of this movement is Eddy Mann who has a number of releases under his belt, including last year’s “The Consequence”. This is an album that has a collection of catchy acoustic-guitar driven songs built on a bed of bass and drum beats
Mann may not have scored a bona-fide radio hit with any of the songs yet, but indeed this is an album that has the capacity to produce multiple ear-friendly singles. These include “Eleven In A Boat”, “Evanesce”, “There’s In The Well”, “She’s Me”, “The Consequence” and “Howlelujah”.
Mann’s lyrics explore familiar themes of love, happiness, redemption and faith — well-mined territory for this style of music. Yet, all of this is done in the midst of mellow guitars, trippy rhythms, and percussive rhythms. The high points are many as every aspect of the album is stellar – beautiful songwriting and the production to match.
The sonic equivalent of throwing open the drapes and letting the light in, “The Consequence” is a revivifying expansion of Eddy Mann’s traditionally spare sound. Mann doesn’t discard the austere, deadly serious singer-songwriter shtick from previous releases but brings in some lush, warm canvasses upon which he reliably spins his literate, melodic Americana roots.
He generally blends techniques relied upon before, with his will to plow some new ground. “The Consequence” finds the troubadour in a somewhat sunnier mood but still very contemplative on some tracks. But regardless of the sonic homages, Mann’s trademarked dense narratives of the human heart and faith still captivate.
“The Consequence” displays that there’s more to folk songwriting than battered old guitars, khaftans and recycled ideas from the 60’s. Given the state of mainstream music today, it’s truly wonderful to find an album that you can recommend without any qualms. And this record fits right into this category.
At times Mann is a modern-day Arlo Guthrie and at others like Van Morrison – his music is sophisticated, wistful, and reflective. A literate and skillful musician, Eddy Mann’s mix of acoustic Americana and folk-rock combines in wonderful form on “The Consequence”. Mann’s songs are passionate yet amiable, cleanly done, with an assemblage of gentle balladry accompanied by an abundance of modern skill.
Mann’s riffs are unbelievably catchy, but retain a certain ethereal quality that runs throughout the album, his guitar adopting the swaying emotion of a slow waltz. He has a voice that is perfect for singing tales of love lost and hearts divided, or of wandering souls and a desperate longing for answers. And then again, he can sing the exact opposite too.
Amazingly, it can all be accomplished without the least sense of falsity, because Eddy Mann is someone who’s a truly rare breed in the popular scene these days: a real musician and a true Christian. Mann not only knows Christ, but he knows how to craft a beautiful album. Set this one aside as perfect for those lonely Saturday nights.