If I Could Change One Thing
Grown Up and Classy Love Songs, with a Biting Edge.
I wasn’t aware of Seth Glier until I received this; his third album but his back story is fascinating. Non-stop touring from the age of 15, eventually brought him support slots for acts like James Taylor and Emmylou Harris and his previous album was Grammy nominated. So he must be doing something right.
In all honesty it took me three listens to get a handle on this album; primarily because it has a big-scale production that appeared to swamp a couple of songs; and isn’t what I normally listen to. Then , in a light-bulb moment ‘I got it!’
Proof, which opens the album is well constructed and intelligent love song; something that Elton John might have written for Robbie Williams; but sung by someone who cares.
A song that ‘very nearly got away’ is Standing Still. Initially it passed me by; but listening again in the middle of the night on headphones, it caught me unawares. The song begins with someone waking up, drinking coffee and reading about the ‘world going to Help in a handcart’; Seth then goes on to question the attitude of Standing Still on the sidelines. Is that enough? No, its not is the answer. He suggests; and I agree that we must call stand tall and fight not just for our own rights; but the rights of the less well off around us. An excellent song on many levels!
The song that will get the most Press coverage in the USA will be the title track If I Could Change One Thing; simply because it’s a duet with Crystal Bowersox from American Idol; but the simple piano and cello arrangement make it a stunningly sensitive ballad that will make the hair on the back of your head stand on end.
Lift You Up and Scars are both in a similar vein; articulate, slightly pensive and incredibly intimate under big swooping strings and an orchestral arrangement.
When I first saw the track listing I went straight for You Wear it Well; thinking it was the Rod Stewart song; but alas it wasn’t. Instead it is a starkly beautiful song written from the point of view of a man who is still in love with his wife after 30 plus years. This has quickly become my favourite song here; especially because the simple arrangement of Glier singing and playing guitar and piano, with his friend Joe Nerney adding occasional sax show what a great album this could have been.
The album closes with another, relatively simple arrangement, Our Song show cases Glier’s soft and smoky voice in a way several others can’t.
I’ve been playing this for over a week now; and Mrs. Magpie absolutely adores it; while I think it is an opportunity missed, with the Record Company throwing everything at it. That said, there is a huge demographic out there who will lap this up. Me? I’m looking forward to seeing him play live with just Nerney for company. Hopefully there will be a bootleg available somewhere down the line 😉