Archive for August, 2013

After a slightly gospel-y opening, but with a definitively bluesier guitar than most gospel-based ballads, “Walk With Me” wastes no time in focusing on what most matters: the lyrics. Or maybe more to the point: the rhythm of the lyrics. Bowdoin has a gift for choosing and arranging his words in an iambic pentameter-y way so that there’s a mellifluous flow to the words, such that this lilt supercedes the words themselves. The music and the meaning of the lyrics may verge on the treacly turf of adult contemporary stars like Dan Fogelberg or Celine Dion but that’s almost beside the point. Or at least I chose to interpret them that way, given that the words, the narrative, didn’t hue to the clearest of lines (it’s as if there are two or three “stories” being told here about this man, who’s about to set out on a journey, who can’t do it alone, trying to convince this woman to leave the cold, dark place she’s in—and to walk with him into some better place). The ultimate message, though, is to Walk with me. Which taps into an age-old emotion, and an age-old conceit of gospel. And that works. And that alone carries and propels the song—musically and emotionally. What was less effective was the music, which is a bit flat. I would’ve preferred either more production (more buildup, more crescendo) or a stripping-down of everything to its bluesy minimalism.