Mutual Admiration Society

Mutual Admiration Society

Mutual Admiration Society

Mutual Admiration Society

Sugar Hill

More of a jamming session between friends than a conventional album, Mutual Admiration Society nevertheless is an excellent pre-cursor to the former Toad The Wet Sprocket frontman Glen Phillips’ long-awaited second solo album due in early 2005. Phillips became friendly with the Grammy-winning bluegrass outfit Nickel Creek while on tour, and they recorded this album in just six days three years ago. The result is a captivating album perfect for those more reflective and quiet moments, showing another side of Phillips’ songwriting and a true union between like-thinking musicians.

Opener “Comes a Time” is actually a re-working of an old Toad b-side. In a folk context, with the accompaniment of Sean Watkins’s mandolin, the song has new life. The jaunty, upbeat “Sake of the World” raises the mood, and “Be Careful” saunters along, driven by Phillips’ clever lyrics and knack for an irresistible melody.

There are a number of pretty instrumentals and a cover of Harry Nilsson’s “Think About Your Troubles,” but the absolute highlight is the undeniably gorgeous and spine-tingling re-working of the Toad classic “Windmills.” If the original does not send shivers down your spine, the sheer beauty of this stripped-down version undoubtedly will. It may have taken longer than expected for Mutual Admiration Society to come out, but it was entirely worth the wait.

Glen Phillips: www.glenphillips.com

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