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Wesley Wolfe's "Cynics Need Love Too" Reviewed

The secret to Wesley Wolfe's "Only Ray Of Sunshine" is that it is about a deeply cynically man who has found true love, who clings to his love to pull him through life. The song itself is a lo-fi pure pop, and the album it comes from, Storage, is a lo-fi art rock masterpiece.

And Cynic's Need Love Too is better .

Wolfe is the Floridian transplanted to North Carolina and who records for Odessa Records (one of the best true indies ever). A nice fellow whose anger would seem unlikely if you ever met him. But he can't believe his eyes at all the cruelty around him and also at the dearness of emotional bondage and this dichotomy between light and dark fuels his music.  He is also, clearly by now, as much an art rocker as a singer songwriter.

The first song, "The Man Who Watches From Above" is a Beatley Brit psychedelia with all the drugs drawn out. A true downer. But it is followed by two of the most beautiful songs Wesley has written.

"Stranded With You" is as isolationist as the States before the two world wars, a robotic voice sings "You make life feel less fucked up, you make my life less fucked up" and Wesley dreams of a world where everybody else has gone away except him and his woman. It is a virulently misanthropic attitude and the closest he gets to apologizing is a coupla tracks later when he sings "Iʼm not as good as you think I am, I am nowhere close to that". He can't apologize to the world, he is too cynical but he can apologize to one person.

The other straight up masterpiece is the  tremendously lovely , "Accidental Domino" . This is song writing of great passion and beauty, underplayed (sounds like a metronome plus piano to me), and Wolfe undersings it as well -I bet he pushes it live, "If you're gonna dream you may as well stay in bed" and, more specifically, "I could lie here in peaceful defeat". I'd love to hear this with a full band (even orchestrated), still it is artistry plain and simple. This is what art does.

But that's not the excuse for Wolfe's mixed signals, the excuse, if it needs one, and it might, is absolute honesty for the sake of artistry. "Sunburned And Homesick" could be torn from his diary: it is unflinching. The bluesy folk  "Somewhere Someone" finds him distraughtly singing "Sometimes I comb the thrift stores with a mothball nose for a dead mans clothes." From the "Mine To Design" thru "Restless Sleeper" the finger is pointed in every direction including at himself.

Considering it is really just Wolfe here, the songs are varied and challenging and always very well written. But it is about time Wolfe got himself a band to flesh them out a bit. That's a big criticism though one that will wait for his next album.

For now, this is one of the top five albums I've heard this year. Between his uxoriousness, misanthropy, brutal self-analysis and sensational songwriting, Wolfe more than lives up to last years Storage. But more importantly, he leads us back out the other side: he knows the answer and it is the reason cynics need love too: love will save us. Below is a link for a free download of the album. Grade: A

http://www.cynicsneedlovetoo.com/

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