William Elliott Whitmore Animals In The Dark

William Elliott Whitmore Animals In The Dark
Recent current events have resulted in a lot of art reaching back to Old Testament touchstones for some kind of explanation but listening to William Elliott Whitmore, one gets the sense that that's just the language he speaks every day. The Iowa native has proven that with his previous four releases, but despite Animals In The Dark being his most polished so far, the purity of Whitmore's performances hasn't been watered down. The addition of a small backing combo actually accentuates the fury of Whitmore's pronouncements on contemporary society, such as "Old Devils" and "Mutiny." But what is most impressive about Whitmore's approach is how easily he can shift from laying down some classic Delta blues, as on "Johnny Law," to offering a stirring country-soul number like "There's Hope For You." In many ways, this versatility is the essence of what the Americana genre has become. And even though there's nothing exceptionally flashy about anything Whitmore does, the sheer conviction of his voice and, consequently, his words, makes Animals In The Dark far from a lament over lost values. Instead, it may just be the ideal soundtrack for this moment in history when honesty and humility are needed most. (Anti)