Pin It
Favorite

CD review-Grant Lee Philips 

by Mike Corrigan


Phillips is a brooding romantic. His songs work best in those melancholy moods when his rich, breathy vocals and rumbling, mildly orchestrated arrangements can wrap around you like a warm blanket and keep the world's cruel intentions effectively at bay. What saves this collection from over-indulgent pensiveness is Phillips' exquisite songwriting and his lush vocal quality, which is as unique, instantly identifiable and comforting as that of a confidante, sibling or lover.


Mobilize is his first solo outing since disbanding his '90s group, Grant Lee Buffalo. Phillips plays all the instruments here, relying on modern studio technology and electronic percussion to carry the album's dozen tracks. It's a slow burn from beginning to end, never really climbing out of the mid-tempo groove that seems to be Phillips' comfort zone.


In the second song, "Humankind," Phillips bemoans the current state of society, pulling off the couplet "If only humankind was not so heartless now/ Heartless now/ It's hard to love your fellow man" without coming off sounding like a hippie, a cleric or a wimp. "Sadness Soot" rocks about as hard as anything on the album, embracing solitude and the sense of release following a breakup. "Like a Lover," a haunting dirge about an unshakable love, has minimal instrumentation, just Phillips on beat-up acoustic guitar and muddy click track.


Mobilize shouldn't make much more of a commercial splash in the great big world than Phillips' earlier work did. And that's more than all right with me.
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Growing Pains
  • Growing Pains

    When the only constant is change itself, we'd best saddle up and make the most of it
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Access for Sale?
  • Access for Sale?

    Trail Mix: Clinton's shaky Foundation, Trump's questionable staffers
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Why I'm With Her
  • Why I'm With Her

    Ignore the chants: Hillary Clinton has earned America's trust from her life of public service
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap

Spokane Artist Trading Card Swap @ Boots Bakery & Lounge

Last Wednesday of every month

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Mike Corrigan

  • Lights, Camera, Skate
  • Lights, Camera, Skate

    Two local artists have transformed their love of skateboarding into a new variety show on Community Television.
    • Dec 14, 2011
  • For Your Consideration
  • For Your Consideration

    A raucous good time from Thee Oh Sees. Plus, vintage horror and a Berlin filmmaker to check out.
    • Nov 22, 2011
  • Time Travelers
  • Time Travelers

    For some local store owners, finding intriguing merchandise isn’t just business, it’s an obsession.
    • Nov 22, 2011
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • 'Unreasonable Threat to Life and Property'

    Spokane's rental housing has problems, but landlord and tenant groups are split on a solution
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • 'End of Story'

    Condon administration aims to close the controversial Frank Straub chapter — but last week's scathing report has irrevocably changed the narrative
    • Aug 4, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


election 2016


green zone


marijuana


trail mix


Readers also liked…

  • Sacred Mt. Spokane
  • Sacred Mt. Spokane

    Economic possibility is not a good enough reason to destroy the Spokane Tribe's holy land
    • Jan 14, 2016
  • The 30,000-Foot View
  • The 30,000-Foot View

    Publisher's Note
    • Feb 5, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation