Pete Nelson,
Days Like Horses
(Signature Sounds, 2000)

Days Like Horses is Pete Nelson's second release, following up the much appreciated Restless Boys' Club. Subtitled "a novel in fifteen tunes," Nelson moves through the stages of heartbreak with evocative lyrics and strong arrangements.

Although the subject of most of these songs is love, the styles are anything but commonplace. The opening track, "You Don't Love Me," is reggae Nelson-style, before moving on with a song about moving on, "Depot Stories" -- an almost spoken-word account of the passengers in a New York City train station. True to the lyrics, the next song shows another of those stories, evoking a jazz bar with piano and bass and what could pass for a jazz standard, "It Still Makes Me Smile."

I could move track by track through this album, detailing Nelson's varying musical styles and his ability to lyrically capture all the ups and downs of recovering from a broken heart, but I don't have that much time. Let me just say that Nelson knows what he's doing here. Days Like Horses is superbly put together, both lyrically and musically.

Thematically, Pete Nelson has created a stunning album, ultimately leaving the listener with the feeling that things will be OK. Listening to Days Like Horses (titled after a similar poem by Charles Bukowski) is an emotional journey, one made more comfortable by the comforting voice of Pete Nelson and the assurance found there.

[ by Audrey M. Clark ]
Rambles: 4 August 2001

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