Published Aug 12, 2014Though sadly under-appreciated here, L.A.-based singer/songwriter David Poe has a seriously impressive resume that includes creating scores for film and dance (Shadowland: Music for Pilobolus was an international success) and having his songs covered by artists as diverse as T-Bone Burnett, Grace Potter, Duncan Sheik, Daryl Hall and Curtis Stigers. It is on his own solo albums that his poetic talent best shines through, and God & The Girl is his best yet. God and the Devil make a few appearances here, but, as in much of Poe's oeuvre, the girl gets the most attention.
Love, lust and loss remain fertile lyrical terrain, and few plough those fields with as much skill as Poe. Or as much candour, as on "Lonely Like Me." Sample lyrics: "First I loved your beauty, then I loved your brain, then you went insane, I fell in love anyway." His understated voice drips with melancholy, the mood most often exuded by his material. Obvious kindred spirits are the likes of Nick Drake and Elliott Smith, while the folk-blues feel of "The Devil" brings Townes Van Zandt to mind while also showcasing Poe's fluent guitar work. His voice and lyrics are neatly embellished by subtle musical touches and the judicious use of cello, violin, French horn, trumpet and lap steel to add atmosphere (guest players include some of Burnett's regular team). The gentle meditation on death, "When I Fly," is a lovely highlight, but there are no misses on this consistently compelling record. (Independent)