Glen Phillips’s third solo studio release finally sees the former Toad The Wet Sprocket frontman reach his creative peak. The collection of diverse, quirky and stripped down tunes in evidence on Mr. Lemons is in sharp contrast to the overly-polished pop-rock of previous effort, Winter Pays For Summer, but its strength lies in its simplicity.
The unconventional approach of recording almost live in the studio that gave Mr. Lemons its name seems to have revitalised Phillips; songs like the beautifully delicate “Blind Sight,” the stirring “I Still Love You” and the country-tinged “Waiting” are as good as anything he has ever committed to tape. Following his split with former label Lost Highway, the trio of “Everything But You,” “Thank You” and “The Next Day” share an upbeat vibe, and an inspired interpretation of Huey Lewis and the News’ “I Want A New Drug” is evidence of a reinvigorated creative freedom.
Phillips plans to take time out to tour Europe with his family after a hectic summer of gigs in the US, but Mr. Lemons should keep his army of loyal fans more than happy until his return.
Glen Phillips: www.glenphillips.com