The River Bends - ...And Flows Into The Sea
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The River Bends
...And Flows Into The Sea

Denison Witmer is an artist that has somehow managed to float just under the radar while quietly and steadily compiling an output of 5 albums and an EP. Usually working on his own, he's joined by several friends on this release and despite having not been a part of a band for most of his efforts, this 11 track, 38-minute album feels about as effortless as can be. Witmer admits that some of his favorite music of all time was created 30 years ago, and ...And Flows Into The Sea reflects that sort of a feeling. While it doesn't directly reflect music of the 1970's, it has that sort of general timeless quality about it that works well.

While it's not always remarkable or outstanding, this is a release that you can count on for consistency. It's not trying to knock you over the head with anything crazy or challenging, but instead feels like a group of musicians who have been working together for some time and have come together to put out a release which is greater than the sum of its parts. While those who have heard Witmer before will need no more of a reason to buy this release, those who haven't could imagine a cross between Elliot Smith and Jackson Browne and be somewhere close. Lyrics and vocals are emotive without being overwrought, and the musical backing is very similar. "Lawyers And White Paper" rocks out about as much as anything on the release, starting out with simply guitars and vocals, but soon turns into a mid-tempo stomper with squealing hammond organ and somewhat crunchy guitars.

On the other side of the fence are beautiful and quiet tracks like "Chestnut Street," which again starts with just vocals by Witmer and acoustic guitars, but is content to stay understated and beautiful for the entirety. It's songs on "Days Repeating" when the real 'sounds of the 70's' vibe come through as a slight country twang infects the song and guitars ring with a warm reverberation that I can still imagine sounding good on an 8-track player or vinyl. While it's nothing that's going to change the world (but face it, what is?) ...And Flows Into The Sea is another sure and steady release from Witmer (and friends).

rating: 710
Aaron Coleman 2004-06-24 00:00:00