This is what keeps us jaded music critics interested: The eternally springing hope that the next CD in your stack will stand apart, that you’ll find yourself thinking, yes! This is what I’ve been missing. When you’ve written your 36th review bemoaning the lack of distinctive songs on the latest singer-songwriter hero’s disc, you start to feel really, really old.
Then a record like Breaking Laces’ sohcahtoa comes along and you’re born again. Songwriting! Remember songwriting? Someone — in this case Willem Hartog — is actually trying to be a creative success, not just a financial one. Not that I think he’d snub the latter kind, and I certainly wouldn’t deny it to him. Nor should you.
What do you get? You get a picture-perfect example of minimalism at maximum. Most of these songs have about three people playing on them but the sound is as full as the Beatles at the height of their all-studio, post-touring era.
You get the kind of lyrics that send you back to the booklet (possible favorite: “And your hand is soft and warm, while the waves do all the talking when they break”). You get acoustic rock tinged with just enough blues not to be boring, but not enough to be boring, if you take the point.
Breaking Laces’ is one of those winning CDs that just works, that’s all: It just works. And I don’t say that about a lot of rock records, do I?
Get out your credit cards and buy this baby.
Breaking Laces: http://www.breakinglaces.com/