Darryl Purpose - Still the Birds
A guitarist and singer with a voice that sometimes recalls James Taylor, Purpose presents here a set of mellow and bucolic tunes, sometimes with a dash of whimsy as with "When Buddha Smiled at the Elephant" and sometimes with a painful and honest look at the way of the world, as on the politically-charged "Hours in a Day." Mostly though Purpose's tone is reverential, whether he's bedazzled by nature ("Prince of the Apple Towns,") the constant of change ("The Birds") or honoring a fondness for jazz "The Nearness of You (Red Garland)." Other highlights include "The Meaning of Life" with guest vocalist Eliza Gilkyson and the mournful "Baltimore," a dirge about Edgar Allan Poe. Purpose co-wrote all the songs here with Paul Zollo and their words carry the album; Purpose never resorts to raising his voice, even when singing about gang violence in East L.A. A very relaxing listen throughout but there are plenty of messages here too if you choose to hear them.