Review by Shannon Reid
In the field of atmospheric science, there is little information available to scientists regarding lightning hitting water; so naturally, when Jim Guthrie’s newest album titled, Take Time featured cover art displaying root pattern lightning hitting a ‘waves of contemplation’ tabletop, my mind wandered and my heart galloped. This is a tasty image that foretells the feeding of poetic symbolism and rich metaphors, but if you know Guthrie’s work from Islands and Human Highway it also forecasts instrumental bliss.
Reaching out like branches, Guthrie reveals his own growth since his last album released a decade ago. The collective sounds of Take Time dig, reach out and bring to mind the maintenance of thoughtful awareness. Guthrie’s sounds are more layered, more masterful – purposeful. Hearty lyrics backed by the experimental inspiration of echoing vocals courts a tender violin.
“Taking My Time” is a song that tunnels into your ear canals for the purpose of sending signals to your heart. At times, there are controlled tones of experimental sound that evoke memories of dial up Internet. Sounds of an electric guitar interlaced with a hint of drone inject appreciation for the beauty of the night while Guthrie’s echo driven vocals suggest exploring it. The simplicity and purposeful arrangement of hook-filled, “Before And After” has the ability to light up your dark, with self imposing lyrics like, “I should know better.” But self doubt is instantaneously soothed with the nurturing reply ‘You say, come here and sit down don’t try to figure it out’…. or ‘don’t try to own it all” – a message we could all find comfort in, or at the very least resonate with. “Don’t Be Torn” most rightly follows with lines, “It takes heart, to fall apart, start from the start, to hear no sound” that is backed by the cheerleaders voices proclaiming “BE ASSERTIVE!” Before you know it, you’ll be singing yourself – to leap!
Guthrie’s well-crafted arrangements transform time while pairing perfectly with solitude and connection. This album is one that will suck you into a journey and is packed with rapid appeal.