This is the first brand new solo album from Steven R. Smith since last year\'s epic \"The Anchorite.\" Few artists can boast the impressive discography Smith does, full of far more hits than misses. And with \"Owl,\" he shows that he\'s still got new tricks up his sleeve. On here, you\'ll find some of the things you expect with a new Steven R. Smith record: sprase, angular walls of his trademark guitar playing with embellishments from an array of acoustic instrumention. But there\'s a new twist here: vocals. Yep, vocals. Smith unleashes his voice on \"Owl\" and does so in such an impressive fashion that it leaves me asking what took so long?
\"Owl\" is full of desolate, but hopeful aural landscapes. There\'s a tinge of regret and longing in his voice when he belts out the words, \"This is the world we know...\" And in those six words, Smith sums up what \"Owl\" brings to the table. There is something recognizable about this terrain; the paint is just worn down enough to expose the raw wood underneath. But carefully placed in each corner, in each nook is something new that breathes new life into the familiar.
This is a bold step for someone who has already accomplished a great deal, and leaves us listeners without a clue as to what will happen next. This is magic, indeed.