Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Nathaniel Carroll-A House by the Highway

March 1, 2005

nathanielcarrollBand Name: Nathaniel Carroll
Album Name: A House by the Highway
Best element: Omniscient musical talent.
Genre: Indie Rock/Folk
Website: http://www.morawk.com/nathaniel/
Label name: Generic Equivalent Records (http://www.boatsandstars.com/geneq)
Band e-mail: n/a

This CD blows Ben Folds and John Mayer right out of the water. In fact, despite their legendary status, it would not be surprising to see both men in the front row at a Nathaniel Carroll concert, outwardly cheering, yet inwardly seething with jealousy. That is just how talented this young musician is.

Carroll is a master of guitar, piano, voice, and songwriting, and he lays it out for the world to see on A House by the Highway. Each song tells a mini-story, and each story covers a wide variety of subjects – some which we have heard before, some which are personal to Carroll himself, but each told to us in a clever way which grabs our attention and makes us feel like we are there in the moment.

Musically, the majority of these tracks are exceptional. “Sick Day” exemplifies Carroll’s mastery of the modern guitar, while “Time Machine” does the same for his mastery of modern piano styles. “A Boy and his Piano” and “Pleasant Goodbye” show how Carroll can follow a more classical style, as does the very beautiful, very solemn instrumental “Before I Go”. On top of all this we place Carroll’s voice, which is emotive and very pleasing to the ear- he really knows his craft and does what he does very well.

The only weak point on this CD is the track “When This Leaf Has Turned,” which is a very beautiful song, very cleverly written, but just feels like it drags on a bit more than it needs to. But when a beautiful song drags on too long, is it really all that bad?

Enlightening at times and soothing at others, this CD is a masterpiece. For fans of Ben Folds (Five) and John Mayer, this would be an excellent CD to pick up.

-Andrea Goodwin

independentclauses@hotmail.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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