Nathan Wiley Bottom Dollar

Wiley suffers talent well. Concocting 11 sundry offerings from musings of hog cemeteries, pillaging bandits, the saving power of sin and revisionist memory, Wiley is at once cocksure and forlorn. "Bottom Dollar Baby," with its squashed dirty vocals and starched tall charisma, evokes songs off of Luke Doucet's solo album or Ben Sure's "Why Don't You Call Me?," while "Home" is a supple track of frailty in the face of aging that wouldn't sound out of place on Springsteen's career best, Nebraska. Elsewhere, Wiley hits us with a beautifully sad waltz ("Comeback"), or his slide guitar signals a slow country dirge ("Till I'm Better"). In a husky voice he announces on the album's closer ("Long Live Sin"), "I want to stay wicked." If wickedness is this sweet, long live Nathan Wiley. (Sonic)