First Appeared in The Music Box, October 2006, Volume 13, #10
Written by John Metzger
Willy Porterís latest outing Available Light might not be as instantly gratifying as his earlier efforts had been, but what it loses in melodic infectiousness, it gains in emotional resonance. The entirety of the set was concocted in the wake of his fatherís battle with a terminal illness, and the collisions between past and present, life and death, and love and loss resonate through its every nook and cranny. Porter tells the tale of One More September, for example, from the perspective of a young girl whose mother was killed in the collapse of the Twin Towers, while on Me & My Old Man, he ponders the inevitable influence that a parent has on a child. Elsewhere, he strives for deeper connection on Reveal, and during Still Doing Time, he reflects upon a lover who betrayed him. Much as the title track suggests, however, Available Light is far from being a claustrophobically somber affair. The ponderous, twinkling guitars of the instrumental Sleepy Little are meant to provide comfort, and as heartbreaking as One More September initially appears to be, it also is an optimistic song of survival. Though relationships may falter and the deceased may haunt, Available Light is about finding the faintest glimmer of hope within the darkest of times and using it to illuminate the path that leads to the better days that lie ahead. Ĺ
Available Light is available from
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2006 The Music Box