This is a hell of a debut. Where there are a considerable amount of first recordings that seem to be a route toward a more polished second album, Wilson immediately hits the ground running from the beginning of the album’s first track. This titular song provides listeners with a microcosm of the sounds, styles, and overall approaches that Wilson will be taking with the album. Canyon in the Rain is (relatively speaking) one of the shortest tracks to be encountered on the first half of Gentle Spirit. However, it tells just as much of a story as others of its ilk, and provides a lead-in to the much more pointed and intense tracks that will hit listeners on the second half of the album. Magic Everywhere is the penultimate track, ramping things back up for listeners familiar with the longer-spaced elements of the album’s first half.
Valley of the Silver Moon is the final track on Gentle Spirit, and it is a must-listen. This is because it is what links what listeners have just heard with Gentle Spirit and marries it to what one can only presume are the different ways in which Wilson will take subsequent albums. I know that Wilson’s Gentle Spirit will stay in my CD player for the next few months; the compositions that are present during tracks like Don’t Give Your Heart To A Rambler and Ballad of the Pines speak volumes to the human experience. Anyone that has experienced even a fraction of what life has to offer will understand exactly where Wilson is coming from, and will be listening to every word that ey has to say.
Top Tracks: Valley of the Silver Moon, Don’t Give Your Heart To A Rambler
Jonathan Wilson – Gentle Spirit (CD) / 2011 Bella Union / 13 Tracks / http://www.songsofjonathanwilson.com / http://www.bellaunion.com