Royal Wood A Good Enough Day

This Toronto troubadour has been diligently honing his craft since his well-received 2004 debut, Tall Tales. The result is a significantly stronger sophomore effort, one speaking to the value of increased time in the studio. It doesn’t hurt that such talented peers as Adam Hay, Hawksley Workman, Harmony Trowbridge, Kurt Swinghammer and Kevin Fox were enlisted for the project, but the emphasis throughout is kept on Wood’s pure, melancholia-tinged voice, fluent piano playing and melodic lyrical skills. He has acknowledged the likes of Workman and Ron Sexsmith as key inspirations and that can be detected here. Either of those writers would be proud to call songs as sweet and strong as "Juliet,” "Acting Crazy” and "A Mirror Without” their own. Judicious use of a small string section, trumpet and female harmony vocals add refreshing musical variety, while nifty little touches like the "from another time” vocal effect as Wood sings "I wish that I could build a time machine” (on "A Mirror Without”) show he’s no slouch as a producer either. He slips briefly into the swamp of sentimentality on "I’m So Glad” but that’s a minor glitch on an otherwise excellent record (Dead Daisy)