Released: 2003, Inside Out
Prolific, intelligent, articulate; it seems Mr. Townsend can do wrong. After countless releases semi-confusing thematic releases, DT has released a quick solo album as it were, not much longer after SYL hit the racks.
For the most part, to varying degrees over the past eight years I’ve been a fan of Devin and his various incarnations. This solo album is more enjoyable to my ears than the past several releases he has done.
Seemingly at home on Insideout, DT present a medium length, futuristic looking nine track CD. Surprisingly mellow and pop oriented the songs are catchy and full of hooks. Continuing his longtime trend of minimalist and futuristic design and packaging we get a handsome disc with CGI type graphics, lyrics and credits with the usual good humour.
Only track three ‘Random Analysis’ hits any true level of heaviness, but obviously that is not the point, nor the forum. After a punchy opener, track two ‘Storm’ caught me off guard with it’s mellow but engaging vibe. ‘Traveller’ and ‘Slow Me Down’ are so catchy and well written they could be hits in any era. Lots of keyboards, ambient noodling but never forsaking the song for progressive trickery, the whole album has a laidback rock feel that one might have found on an early 90’s Rush album.
Lyrically Devin tackles time-worn topics like girls, the open roads dreams and so on and he sings in a surprisingly clean and accessible vocal tone. The whole album is very produced, clean and modern retaining the Devin signature sound. Imagine a simpler version of Ocean Machine but perhaps with a bit more balls, might give you an idea of what this thoroughly enjoyable CD sounds like. Great tunes without descending into vapid pop mediocrity means this disc is a nice diversion from the heaviness that usually consumes my listening.