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Delivered

by Mark Erelli

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about

"Delivered" is a word where the connotations overwhelm denotations. It's a simple act performed by mailmen, by baseball pitchers, by storks. It also describes mysterious transference, supernatural or even divine intervention--the unexpected answer to an unintended prayer, goes one line from Delivered, the seventh record from Mark Erelli.

But it's a crossroads too, a transition or turning point. We cannot be delivered from one thing without being delivered into something else, which is to say, without being changed. It's an apt title for Erelli's new collection, produced by Zack Hickman (Josh Ritter). Delivered is a recording born of change, a reckoning of new things seen and old things seen anew.

"Fatherhood has made me more fearless, Erelli says. "I'm less interested in pulling punches." As such, Delivered is Mark Erelli's accounting, his new and sudden narrative, his response to the arrival of the deepest love a man can feel, de profundis, and all its concomitant fears. The record is never sappy, never anxious, refuses to preach, but doesn't shy away from tough issues. It confronts.

Apart from the lyrical content, Erelli also goes deep musically on the new record. From the stark, first-take of Volunteers, to the slashing, Neil Young and Crazy Horse treatment given to Shadowland, from the stirring crescendo of horns that ends Not Alone, to the Paul Simon-esque bounce of Once, Delivered is the sound of a confident artist in complete control of his dynamic musical range. All the talk of new voicings and instrumentations would seem a bit academic, if not for the plain fact Erelli, frankly stated, sings his ass off.

In all regards, Delivered delivers.

credits

released September 16, 2008

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tags: folk Boston

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Mark Erelli Boston, Massachusetts

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