Doug Paisley: The End Of Solitude

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Friday's Pick

  • Song: "Broken in Two"
  • Artist: Doug Paisley
  • CD: Doug Paisley
  • Genre: Folk
Doug Paisley 300

In "Broken in Two," singer Doug Paisley pleads for renewal after a long winter. courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Looking over a lot of critics' year-end Top 10 lists, there's no question that 2008 was a big year for organic and homemade (or seemingly organic and homemade) roots-folk records. Aside from those albums' stripped-down instrumentation and rustic sound, their defining characteristic is a sense and understanding of solitude — of the intimacy that comes with staring into the literal or figurative darkness.

On his recent self-titled album, Canadian singer-songwriter Doug Paisley joins that esteemed company, though "Broken in Two" finds him addressing another's woes instead of staring inward. With a beautiful tenor that recalls a young James Taylor, Paisley pleads for renewal after a long winter: "The rust has grown on the door to your home / It's the springtime, you should be gone." As he advises against wallowing in hopelessness — "Now you say your heart is haunted / How will you give it to somebody else?" — it's clear that Paisley has spent his own time hiding from pain. For all its shrewd advice, "Broken in Two" exudes earned wisdom, with a gentle reminder that even simple solutions aren't always clear, even when they're sung right into our ears.

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