Chris Whitley : Rocket House

Chris Whitley : Rocket House

  • $12.98

Chris Whitley's Rocket House marks another shift for the man whose debut, Living with the Law, was a burst of Tom Petty-esque roots-rock. Since then, Whitley's oeuvre has become an increasingly eclectic--some would say unfocused--collection, one that reached its nadir with the grunge-flavored Din of Ecstasy in 1995. But in recent years, Whitley's been trusting his instincts, taking a more somber, minimalist road most poignantly captured on the Billy Martin-Chris Wood (of Medeski Martin & Wood fame) collaboration, Perfect Day.
Whitley's House, however, is in another time and place entirely. Filled with whispering effects and looped guitars, dense songs, and an accessible, modern-rock slant, it's the work of a mature, smart songsmith who's discovered how to get the most out of his poet's eye for the human condition, while going for broke in embracing musical possibilities. Kicking off with "To Joy (Revolution of the Innocents)," the sea change is immediately obvious, as a strange little warble gives way to a burst of serpentine electronics and a sly chorus Dave Matthews could be proud of (indeed, the record is released on Matthews's label, ATO Records). Have a listen to the wide-open pop on songs like "Say Goodbye," and "Vertical Desert," the latter finding Whitley's rootsy voice singing over a subdued mechanical beat and fat washes of keyboard. Despite the record's occasional overreach, it's worth it to hear Whitley flex his creative muscles and come up with something so immediate, hovering on the edge of experimental while remaining absolutely, overtly listenable. --Matthew Cooke

1. [4:26] To Joy (Revolution of the Innocents)
2. [4:04] Radar
3. [5:38] Chain
4. [3:37] Say Goodbye
5. [3:51] Solid Iron Heart
6. [6:10] Rocket House
7. [4:10] Serve You
8. [4:45] Little Torch
9. [3:55] From A Photograph
10. [3:32] Vertical Desert
11. [9:05] Something Shines

Product UPC: 880882210823

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