CHRIS WARREN Beautiful Ruins (UM) Rating: NNN
The second full-length release by local musician-cum-poet Chris Warren is far headier fare than your average singer/songwriter disc. Drawing on themes ranging from evolution and extinction to regret and mortality, Warren aligns the microcosmic and macrocosmic with deft arcs of mystical lyrics that recall Gwendolyn MacEwen's poetry. He frames his words with sophisticated, layered arrangements - hints of beat poetry, chamber and klezmer accents mesh with mature pop songwriting, backed by the superb horn playing of Sarah McElcheran and folks like the Supers' Maury Lafoy. While his reedy voice sometimes comes up short against such sculpted backdrops, Beautiful Ruins is a solid effort.
Chris Warren launches Beautiful Ruins and House On Fire, his new book of poetry, at the Rivoli Wednesday (February 11).