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March 2020
Review

Jonathan Wilson - Rare Birds

If you want to go on a musical journey then ‘Rare Birds’ is an album for you.
Jonathan Wilson - Rare Birds
Published: 11:10 am, March 06, 2018
If you want to go on a musical journey then ‘Rare Birds’ is an album for you.

Label: Bella Union
Released: 9th March 2018
Rating: ★★★★

Jonathan Wilson is a man that can do it all. In demand as a producer, musician and all-round musical hero, the Los Angeles native has built quite a reputation over the last decade. Having spent the last few years producing albums including Father John Misty’s acclaimed ‘Pure Comedy’, Wilson now returns to his own work with his third album ‘ Rare Birds’. This time though things are a bit different.

You can throw out every perception you previously held about Jonathan Wilson. Anything goes on a collection of songs more diverse and striking than anything he has produced before.

The winsome Americana of old is largely replaced by a desire to push his music to different places and crash through previously held boundaries. It’s an album that’s vast and expansive. There’s a sense of freedom and infectious wonder that shines through songs like ‘There’s A Light’ and the glammy Tame Impala like opener ‘Trafalgar Square'.

The sound is largely influenced by the sort of sonic visionaries working in the 80s who saw music and technology as something to behold, people like producer Trevor Horn and fellow studio wizards Talk Talk. This maximalist approach gives Wilson’s music a whole new feeling of vibrancy and vitality. There’s a sense of excitement as the songs continue to surprise culminating in stunning highlight ‘Loving You’.

There’s a lot to take in with the album stretching to well over an hour, but Jonathan Wilson was never a man to shortchange his audience. If you want to go on a musical journey then ‘Rare Birds’ is an album for you. Martyn Young

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