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Mark Erelli (from the album Lay Your Darkness Down
Mark Erelli (from the album Lay Your Darkness Down available on Soundly Music) (by Lee Zimmerman)
A singer/songwriter boasting both quality and quantity — evidenced by the fact he’s released no less than 18 albums in all — Mark Erelli makes music spawned from heartfelt sentiment and erstwhile intelligence. It’s a rare combination, evidence of the fact that he retains an absolute affinity for vintage precepts without sacrificing his own contemporary credibility.
With his latest album, Lay Your Darkness Down, Erelli shares a mantra that’s well worth remembering at times when trouble and strife often dull the senses. It’s oriented towards optimism, an elusive quality to be sure, but a quality that’s well worth cherishing, especially when the world demands otherwise.
Erelli’s ability to stir melody and emotion in equal measure and nowhere is that more apparent than on songs such as “Break in the Clouds”, “Fuel for the Fire”, and “Sense of Wonder”, songs with a sense of serenity, all of which suggest that hope lies on the horizon, if only for those who care to seek it out. Likewise, the beautiful ballad “You’re Gonna Wanna Remember This” serves as a reminder that time is transitory, and it’s best to seize on memories even as they’re being made. It paints a lovely portrait of satisfaction and serenity.
Of course, when you’re operating in the realms of the storied New England folk scene, there’s a reputation to uphold, one that demands an artist be at their best. Erelli’s well up to the task and when he summons up the strength expressed in “Up Against the Night” and “Is It Enough”, he comes across as a relentless rocker, one with the faith and fortitude shared by such heartland heroes as Petty, Springsteen, and Mellencamp, tirelessly and triumphantly in equal proportion.
Other songs provide the same sort of desire and determination, often in more measured ways. The slow but steady “You”, the quiet, contemplative and supremely soulful “The Man I Am”, and the touching, tender personal perspective provided by the title track all offer ideal examples of both humanity and humility. Ultimately though, it’s left to the assertive closing track, “Love Wins in the Long Run”, to sum the sentiment up succinctly. At the end of the day, Lay Your Darkness Down comes across as a decidedly illuminating affair. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Mark Erelli on AMAZON
For more information head on over to the Mark Erelli website
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