The record leads off with “You Can’t Take Me,” a soul searching tune with an opening line that speaks a universal truth “We’re all a little bruised/We’re all a little broken.” The mandolin infused “Carolina,” whether a place, person, or both, is about moving on and travelling new roads, literally and figuratively. Standout track “Crown of Thorns” is so detailed, raw and honest it made me angry and sad. Hung-over and guilt ridden he tells a one night stand “When we wake I’m gonna take back everything I say/But you’ll never get back what you’re letting me steal away/It’s far more real than it seems/Although I’ll shake it off just like a dream.”
After that song emotionally drains you, “Wherever You Are, Babe,” will lift the spirits with its harmonica (for which I am a total sucker) and horns. A break up song that finds him looking forward with promise rather than lamenting what was lost.“I’ve played your lover, but I won’t play your fool.” The EP closes with “Honey I Ain’t” a delightful, uplifting song about love, acceptance and promising to stay in a world where people leaving/giving up is the norm. “We hung our love out on the clothes line/The world could end tonight and that’s fine/There are no names left to be learned/No wages I’ve left to earn/Since I’ve met you no pages left to turn.”
Well written lyrics and lovely melodies delivered by a voice truthful, grounded and warm, Bishop simply makes good music--and that is something to be appreciated.
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