Skin And Bones

Justin DiFebbo

JDiFebbo Music, 2015

http://www.justindifebbo.com

REVIEW BY: Ludwik Wodka

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/18/2016

What is old is new again with on Justin DiFebbo’s sophomore album, Skin And Bones. It is a beautiful album that does not invent anything new, break new ground, or skewer the idols of the past, but doesn’t really need to. It simply celebrates that sweet and lush psychedelic sound in the tradition of early ‘70s Pink Floyd, Big Star, and late ‘90s Flaming Lips. The beauty and vitality of the songs more than justifies them having to be apologetic about their embrace of this now-classic sound. Everything about it seems to have a kind of timeworn patina that makes it soothing, comfortable, and familiar. nbtc__dv_250

The opening track “Adrift” sets the tone for the album with its slow, mellow pace and soothing blend of piano and tremolo guitar, sounding like an outtake from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon. A chorale of backing vocals gives it a gossamer-like delicacy.

This is followed by “Air You Breathe,” which uses a similar arrangement and style as “Adrift,” but unleashes a wailing guitar break in the middle eight. DiFebbo stomps on the distortion pedal a couple other times the lay down some psychedelic-blues guitar solos, which would have been de rigueur on any album of this type from the 1970s. Examples of this are found on “Blue Melody” and the instrumental “Good Intent.”

The album’s strength lays in its slower tracks where the arrangement is deployed to greatest effect adorning the melodies. Tracks such as “Air You Breathe,” “Do What You Like,” and the wistful ballad that closes the album, “Be My Star” showcase this. However, DiFebbo can lay down some solid, upbeat rock as well, as witnessed on “Back And Forth” and “To My Love.”

The nods to the past, whether it be in the stylistic flourishes in the music, or the older songs that are echoed in the songs titles and lyrics (e.g. “Do What You Like,” which was also a song title by Blind Faith, etc.) only underscore the strong ties this album has to its inspiration. It goes to show that Justin DiFebbo can still employ the timeworn tropes of classic rock to create some beautiful work.

Rating: B+

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