Barton Stanley David - Crest

by Morley Seaver

If you're looking for a record to help raise the spirits, look no further than Crest, the new release from Texas singer-songwriter Barton Stanley David. There's a real '70s vibe in parts of this record without managing to sound dated. Sort of like if Dan Fogelberg made a record today. Most of the magic comes from David's voice which is vulnerable yet confident, although the songs themselves are all strong enough to win you over no matter who is singing.

The material ranges from folk-y songs to more pop-radio-friendly material although with seven songs there is some variation in between. The record opens with my favourite cut, "Cicada". There is a quiet energy that helps propel it and David's voice draws you in, particularly his endearing vibrato. Great production on this one with slinky guitar parts all through it.

"All Ways" is a great song to enjoy with a morning cup of coffee and the task of getting ready to tackle the day. There is a stirring element in the verses that has your head nodding in short order. "If I Didn't Tell You First" is a more delicate pop song with a strong chorus. The title cut is slower and more dramatic with deliberate spacing in between the instrumentation to let you soak in the lyrics. It took a few spins for me to warm up to this one but it has since snuck up on me.

"Evelyn" is a breezy tune augmented by some subtle but tasty violin work. Breaking the mold of the rest of the material is "How We Live in Love", powered by some '90s-style guitar and some energetic drumming. This one is a great addition to the set. Closing the record is the campfire-ish "And the Crowd Goes Crazy Again" a fitting end to the record since I usually start it all over again.

This is a strong release from an artist with something to say and also with the ability to deliver it.

Preview and purchase this record here and visit Barton's website here.


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