June Panic and His Silver Sound Baby's Breadth

June Panic has parented 11 albums in the past decade. This Catholic pace has seen an evolution not only in the North Dakotan's recording skill and composition, but also in the thematic complexity of his subject matter. With Baby's Breadth, he tackles a concept record that actually bears out its pretences - it actually works as a conceptual whole, rather than just being a loose framework that many other artists claim to be a "concept." Here it's birth and death - not only in the physical, literal sense but in the philosophical contemplation of "what is living?" Musically, Panic has maintained his wheezy Dylan vocal sound, but has added some Kinks and Bowie-ish musical variation, easily moving from late '60s psychedelic Byrds to the more stripped down, acoustic statements that marked his earlier work. Gone too are the rawer instrumental freak-outs; Panic's songwriting voice has moved beyond the need to just emote through noise and is better able to express his ideas with a subtler hand. With Baby's Breadth, he's growing up. (Secretly Canadian)