Robert Burke Warren
...to This Day
First Appeared at The Music Box, March 2000, Volume 7, #3
Written by John Metzger
They say that singer-songwriters are a dime a dozen. While that may be true, it certainly doesn't diminish that undeniable feeling of excitement that comes with the discovery of one that excels at his trade.
Such is the case with Robert Burke Warren, whose ...to This Day is a virtual thrill ride from start to finish and only seems to improve with age. What makes this set particularly appealing is the way that Warren crafts his songs. Sure, there are elements of the typical early American folk music fare scattered throughout the disc. However, Warren does all that he can to wrap his songs in more modern-day arrangements that borrow as much from the music of the '60s as they do from that of the '90s.
Each track floats effortlessly from one to the next, skipping through a whirlwind of styles and sounds. Warren conjures up a bossa nova blues groove on Tomboygirl; melts into a gently flowing, Donovan-inspired melody on Blue Impala; drives home the Red Hot Chili Peppers' psychedelic balladry on Josephus Cries; and rifles through the closets of alt-country pioneers Gram Parsons and Neil Young on I Want Her Faith.
Better still, Warren does this with his own sense of musical vision, albeit with a sense of indebtedness to Beck's Mutations. Why not? After all, it's Beck's most notable, and yet his least appreciated, album. It also makes a nice starting point for someone like Warren as he begins to stake out his own territory.
To This Day is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2000 The Music Box