CD Review
5:51 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Next Time Around - Darryl Purpose - CD Review

Next Time Around - Darryl Purpose - Blue Rock Artists

Darryl Purpose has made an exquisite new record - marking his return to music after a seven year hiatus - and it was absolutely worth the wait.  There are many ways to fall in love with this collection:  through the beauty and depth of the lyrics, the grit and brandy warmth of Darryl’s voice, the nuance of his performance, and especially, the brilliant production by Billy Crockett at Blue Rock Studio in Wimberly, TX.

The ten songs on Next Time Around are populated with characters who have mostly lost or left something behind  - loves, dreams, or even their own lives - but in Darryl’s hands and voice there is acceptance, hope, transcendence. 

It’s been a long time since I put a new record in my CD player and listened repeatedly for days.  Next Time Around has been in my possession for three weeks and I’m not about to stop listening any time soon.  Every song is deftly layered with a specific and intricate treatment - like sculpting with music, carving out the deeper images and emotion in the lyrics.

There are dozens, or even hundreds, of subtle musical cues throughout this collection that unfold as the songs become familiar - the mandolin embroidery in the (previously unreleased) Dave Carter song, ”Girl From Golden”, the way Darryl sings “just to fall back in somebody’s arms” in the bridge of “Dreams of Life” so you can feel the relief and release, and, the amazing production on the title track at the end of the album that turns a relatively simple song into a theatrical event. 

Inspired by a hand carved carousel built by a friend in the Colorado town where Darryl lives, the image is of a six year old on a merry-go-round, moving toward and away from her parents as the wheel spins round…”If I should go by in the blink of an eye, don’t worry for me where I’m bound”.  In concert it’s a lovely, audience pleasing sing-along song, but on this record it is an altogether different experience.  Layered with a dreamy calliope and the ghostly voices of two characters who are almost connecting but just out of reach, it’s a fugue of memory and longing, as they sing in counterpoint to Darryl’s chorus: “I’ll see you next time around”.

Letting go, and then returning, is a life lesson threaded through this record in different guises.  Darryl has recently come back to writing and touring, having put down his guitar for seven years when he felt his joy in the music being eclipsed by the music business. He has clearly done some exploration in his time away.  TS Elliot said, “… the end of our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know that place for the first time.“   This time around, the new record is strong evidence that he knows he’s back home in his music.  I’m hoping he wants to stay.

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