â€œPoppy Fields & Pearlsâ€ is the second disc released by Los Angelesâ€™ own Mark Gothard. For being in one of the largest urban cities in the United State, the fact that â€œPoppy Fields & Pearlsâ€ starts out with a folksy track in â€œThe Skywalker Bluesâ€ is interesting. The unique style of Gothardâ€™s vocals provides a little bit of richness to the traditional and typical acoustic guitar that is present. Despite the goofy nature of â€œThe Skywalker Bluesâ€ (Star Wars), the fact is that â€œThe Skywalker Bluesâ€ is a catchy and compelling song that will stick with listeners for a while after they put down â€œPoppy Fields & Pearlsâ€.
â€œThe Skywalker Bluesâ€™ is followed up by â€œOde To Jackâ€, a slower track that touches upon R.E.M. just as much as it does Johnny Cash and the a post-Ziggy Stardust David Bowie. â€œWhispered In Your Earâ€ is a bold step forward for Gothard in that it is the longest track on â€œPoppy Fields & Pearlsâ€, at a place where ey could gain or lose a tremendous amount of listeners. However, the compelling emotional intensity of the track allows listeners to easily make it through this five and a half minute mini-epic unscathed. In fact, the soft tones of the acoustic during this track may be the reason why listeners are able to make it to the discâ€™s two bonus tracks, â€œBlazeâ€ and â€œ300 Milesâ€. Instead of merely front-loading â€œPoppy Fields & Pearlsâ€ with the strongest tracks, the quality of songs on the latter half of the disc is equivalent to the first half.
This means that a song like â€œSomething To Meâ€ showcases the same type of honesty that first was heard during the opening strains of the disc. The music on â€œPoppy Fields & Pearlsâ€ is simple: there is little more here than an acoustic and a set of vocals. However, where the disc is complex is in Gothardâ€™s ability to arrange the different compositions into things that are decidedly more than their constituent parts. While Gothard has been playing around the Los Angeles area the last few years, it should only be a matter of time before ey is coming up with a nationwide tour. Make sure to pick up a copy of â€œPoppy Fields & Pearlsâ€ to see the magic, the allure of Gothard, and familiarize yourself with these tracks before any tour comes to your town.
Top Tracks: Sleep, Yard Sale
Mark Gothard â€“ Poppy Fields & Pearls / 2005 Self / 12 Tracks / http://www.markgothard.com /