(Stereotype/Are You Listening?)
First Appeared in The Music Box, August 2005, Volume 12, #8
Written by T.J. Simon
A native of Philadelphia who currently is based out of Santa Fe, David Smith plays gentle, acoustic-oriented rock in the tradition of Elliott Smith, Nick Drake, and Iron & Wine. Wonderfully produced by Simon Widdowson, who previously had worked with The Decemberists, Smithís debut Fastest Machine mixes ambient touches with sparse arrangements. In fact, Losing Ground offers a perfect example of what extraordinary production can do to an otherwise commonplace song, and much like Damien Riceís O, thereís a lot of beauty contained within the simplicity of Fastest Machine. Minimal instrumentation and whispered vocals on tunes such as Hopelessly Misunderstood call for the listener to stop and pay attention, and such close observation is rewarded with Smithís thoughtful lyrics, most notably on the albumís opening track Cheap Seats. When Smith "goes electric" on the discís sole up-tempo moment Crush and Flow, the space-y guitars and hard-to-forget pop melody transform the selection into a true highlight. While none of the final few selections on the effort are terribly compelling, they all manage to fit within the fabric of this tiny acorn of an outing. Based upon the overall strength of Fastest Machine, itís safe to say that Smith is an indie artist who is worth discovering.
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2005 The Music Box