Concord Music Hall
Jeremy Wagner
Lovers Lane

James Apollo reviewed

| May 2, 2007 | 0 Comments

James Apollo
Hide Your Heart In A Hive
(No Alternative)

apollo

Hide Your Heart In A Hive sounds recorded not “on the road,” as the liners state, but in a single sitting, almost as if James Apollo never got up from behind his piano. And if he did it probably wasn’t for more than to dig his cigarettes out of a coat pocket.

Much like Ray Lamontagne’s Till The Sun Turns Black, it takes total silence to appreciate Hide Your Heart, a risky requirement. Unlike Low, who demanded nightly reverence on tour, Apollo isn’t asking you to admire crystalline arrangements — he’s putting himself on display. While his husky, smoky voice would be enough to cast this pall on its own, Apollo and friends temper the oncoming night with an array of organs, vibes, and nylon guitars. “Beauty Bird” coasts on the hum of brushes on the snare head, coming together in the chorus’ brief rush before retreating to the verse patterns. Uniformity takes a break on the Gypsy-stomp “Bad Old Buzzard,” otherwise there aren’t many occasions where he overpowers the band (opener “Where All Love’s Pilgrims Go” is a tease in this regard), and in fact about 45 seconds into “Don’t Hurt Yourself Baby” he audibly pulls back. It proves to be the real talent of Heart, coming out of dark, dank corners only to be repelled by the light.

7

Steve Forstneger

Category: Spins, Weekly

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