With an album full of songs that run six minutes or longer, Halem Albright’s Don’t Listen to Me often sounds like a band jamming out in a recording studio rather than a cohesive album. Put simply, having listened to 30 minutes of an album by song number four is slightly tiring.
That’s not to say Don’t Listen to Me doesn’t have flourishes that enhance the listening experience. The album feels classic, bringing to mind an old LP, with tasteful guitar solos and old rock vocals. (If the album was condensed into a double-LP, with two or three songs to each side, I would be in classic rock heaven.)
The best part is that everything feels loose and relaxed. Nothing sounds particularly forced. It’s also a beautifully mixed record, wherein peaks of piano creep above pulsing percussion and smooth guitar. One instrument never monopolizes any song, allowing for a silky amalgam of sounds. If you have the time and patience to get through the record, it will certainly be a rewarding experience.
Halem Albright plays at New Earth Music Hall on Thursday, Nov. 29.
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