Neil Halstead Sleeping On Roads

One of the more underrated songwriters around, Neil Halstead has accomplished quite a lot in the last 12 years. With his old band and shoe-gazing cult favourites Slowdive, Halstead was the driving force behind all three of the band’s albums, before they dissolved back in 1995. Their biggest hit, the flawless Souvlaki, was even produced by Brian Eno. Immediately after, Halstead ventured into Cowboy Junkies territory with the hazy country styling of Mojave 3. Still with the band, Halstead has taken a break from things to do something on his own. Sleeping On Roads isn’t very far removed from his work with Mojave 3, but it has its differences. Leaning more towards a folkier sound, this record is an intimate look into Halstead’s gentle heart. More instruments as well, like horns, banjos, glockenspiel and organs, bring a welcome change of scenery. One thing you can always count on with his music is his gifted ability to make you feel warm and cozy no matter where you are. Sleeping On Roads is leaning even more towards the Nick Drake sounds some found in Mojave 3's later material. However, since Drake isn’t around today to give us any more music, someone’s got to write some soft music that people can like without being embarrassed, and this is your man. (4AD)