Published Nov 07, 2015Having set up shop in Toronto over 12 years ago, David Picco returns home to his native Newfoundland to record his fourth album, Start Again. The retrospective 10-track collection recalls the state of his career and personal relationships over that decade and evaluates how well his time in Toronto was spent; more importantly, it contemplates what to do next. Picco has feet firmly planted in both of his worlds, and while by the end of the album, it's unclear which route he is destined to follow, the overall forward motion of the album is unquestionable: this is a driving album.
Although it is not outwardly stated, the songs reinforce the sentiment that the road is the best place for reflection. Movement is often inferred by introductory drumbeats, usually played in 4/4 time and always supported by equally peppy bass. With the exception of "Martha Mansfield" and "Something In My Mind," there is a charged tempo to the album, suggesting Picco is either optimistic about the state of his future or he is blissfully indifferent.
Album opener "Baby, I'm Gone Away," a poppy roots-rock jam with a twangy lead, tells of an artist fed up with the rock'n'roll struggle and is entertaining the idea of leaving the strife behind. This theme of self-extrication is common, as are the pluckily tapped piano notes, which make many appearances and keep these musings of impending disengagement cheerful ("Baby, I'm Gone Away," "First To Go," "Any Second Now," "Up All Night"). While "Back To You" is less animated than electric track "First To Go" or the Matthew Followill guitar tone on "Start Again," it nonetheless portrays Picco as a man with little concern for (ostensibly) beginning a new life.
If this record is any indication, and the Newfoundlander's ambitions are truly to start over in the Maritimes, let's hope that Picco doesn't stop making music, especially if it turns out like this. (Independent)