On “Visitors”, Howard Simon provides a taut, focused instrumentation and new takes on a number of earlier genres. Albion is set up as the introductory track, providing fans with a brief run-down of the styles to be experienced throughout the rest of the disc. In Her Name utilizes two sets of vocals to add further depth to the albums. I feel that the multi-layered approach that Howard Simon uses here ensures that listeners will find new dynamics and lines to appreciate after many listens.
The Devil Every Day is a sea change from the rest of the songs on Visitors. The track refreshes the rock styles of the mid-eighties. Hints of Warren Zevon and Dire Straits can be heard here. We’re particularly large fans of the arrangements that act as the backdrop for Howard’s vocals; this is some seriously meaty music that begs fans to strap on their favorite headphones and give the composition their full attention.
Tomorrow is a Long Time (Simon’s take on a Bob Dylan classic) slows down the tempo to make a more down-home, intimate sort of sound. This early-album track is a good change of pace, giving fans a brief breather before Simon kicks in to some increasingly-experimental works. Sweet Words and History has a bit of a seventies soft rock that is given a new lease on life due to the tremendous vocal ability of Howard and the presence of bold, emotive horns.
Sweet Little Mystery is the second cover on Visitors, a deep pull from John Martyn; on this performance, Simon is able to keep some of the rich sound of the original while adding his own flair to the resulting track. Visitors is an expansive album that stays strong from the beginning of Albion to the concluding strains of Three Horses.
Top Tracks: Tomorrow is a Long Time, Sweet Words and History