Delta Spirit: Delta Spirit

Delta Spirit
Delta Spirit
(Rounder Records)

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It was Joseph Campbell who said that, “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us” and this rumination seems to have weighed heavily on the minds of the members of the band Delta Spirit while creating their new eponymous album, which sheds the folksy sound for a more produced, radio-friendly rock sound. But the question remains as to whether this is the sound they’ve planned or the one they’re destined for.

Upon first listening to the album’s opening track, “Empty House,” fans will likely think they’re listening to someone else because, in addition to the new, more electronic sound, the character of singer Matthew Vasquez’s voice is so different. These changes are consistent, but while the songs initially seem to have a sense of promise, it’s short-lived because they have lost the soulfulness of earlier Delta Spirit music without compensating musically in any way and they just don’t have enough character to care about.

There are songs on the album that work like the band’s first single, “California” and “Otherside” with its complex percussion and welcome inconsistency, but they are the exceptions and not the rule.  The big picture look at Delta Spirit’s new album is that they haven’t found their own voice just yet. Either that or they are just trying to be something they’re not because right now the music sounds inauthentic and results in more music to listen to and not hear while waiting on line at the bank or watching a loaded moment on a bad tv show.

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About Tim Needles

Tim Needles is an artist, photographer, humorist, and writer from Long Island, NY. His writing and art work has been seen in multiple exhibitions and publications around New York as well as the Photographer’s Forum, French Photo, the New York Times, and LI Pulse magazine. He is also an educator and currently teaches art and film at Smithtown, NY and as an Education Leader for Adobe. He was recently the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Award in Washington DC and serves as the director of Strictly Students, a non-for-profit group for media and education. His work can be seen on his website: www.timneedles.com
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