We’ve finally reached the half-way point. The fifth out of nine amazing collections of minimalistic, mythical, acoustic singer/songwriter songs from an elusive Bostonian that goes by the name of Beware Wolves. Following the phases of the moon, the fifth volume features the full moon on its cover, a promising symbol.
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This album kicks off with the bluesy, driving Little Voice. An intimate, yet powerful piece that has a steady strumming rhythm and a stunning vocals performance infused by a bluesy undercurrent that manages to hype up the energy even more. A fitting starting point. The following, Long Run is a slow burner that features a similar steady rhythm, with a muted feel that sucks away the energy of the first song and replaces it with a warm, flowing feel that makes the song easy and soothing. An amazing song on its own, but in its current placement, it seems to bring down the energy and the anticipation at an unsuitable point in the record. Perhaps the price to pay for having all songs in alphabetical order throughout the 9 albums. Long Shot in the Dark has another rhythmic guitar part with interesting chord ideas. But again, it fails to raise the energy. On its own, this intimate guitar-and-voice piece is perfectly enjoyable, with a tight guitar performance, and a high-reaching vocal part. It’s an intricate piece that must have been a challenge to record, let alone record in one take, just like most other songs from Beware Wolves. After Lucky One, a sweet, sentimental tune, that has a slow, lulling rhythm, and some playful lyrics, comes Me for You, which finally brings the energy back into the mix. With its jingle-like chord progressions, intricate harmonies, a guitar overdub, and open, airy mix, Me for You is expansive, nuanced, and endlessly sweet.
Medicine Man has a prominent vocal delivery that’s full of characterful hums and bluesy intricacies, a start-stop guitar performance and a hazy, smoky mix. Roomy, and reverbed, the guitar sounds organic and perfectly in tune, along with the rapid-fire singing. Mira is the third instance of a name drop throughout the 5 albums that hint at a romantic partner at which the songs are directed. It sees the artist use his baritone chops in a colorful vocal performance that utilized the harmonies well, making them sound like backing vocals.
The 5th collection from Beware Wolves, while featuring the same usual quality songwriting, and having a number of solid tunes, essentially shoots itself in the foot right from the start. Starting with a strong highlight followed by 3 songs that fail to maintain the momentum. It’s the price that Beware Wolves pays for not exercising his powers to change the order of the songs around, rather settling for leaving them in alphabetical order. An album full of strong songs, on their own, but together, in that order, it has an unstable momentum that puts pressure on the remaining volumes to correct the trajectory.