The Rapidian

MUSIC REVIEW - Justin Stover - "Flesh Wounds"

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/Flesh Wounds album art

I received a copy of “Flesh Wounds” by Grand Rapids musician Justin Stover that was packaged in a simple brown paper bag, with his logo stamped neatly on it. The simple design of the accompanying insert gives a brief description of the albums inspiration, his relevant contact info and the lyrics for the five songs on the disc. Even though it was kind of an unconventional way to package a CD, it carries an appealing minimalist aesthetic, and provides a simple and honest presentation without pretension.

The five songs on "Flesh Wounds" are solid and simple, honest and intelligent, sincere and receptive in nature, though a slight element of unruliness pierces through in a few spots. Much of the sound is reminiscent of Steve Earle or Ryan Adams in the song structure, overall tone, and vocal delivery. Something about the vocals in the chorus to track 4, "Ladybug," has a very John Lennon-esque feel. Stover’s music has a strong blend of country and southern rock influences but the songs would definitely stand as solo acoustic performances. 

Stover’s lyrics make a fine art of turning the ordinary experiences of everyday life into something quasi-transcendental. A sublime truth is evident in his writings as he almost confesses his songs to the listener.

Local musicians Justin VanHaven, Mat Churchill, Nathan Kalish, Dustin Anderson, and Ben Abney contributed to the album. More information can be found at http://stoversongs.com.

Best Tracks: #3 Half-Assed Revolution

FCC Naughty List: NONE

Who would like this cd: fans of Steve Earle, Ryan Adams, Nathan Kalish

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