Nathan Wiley The City Destroyed Me

Talented P.E.I. songwriter Nathan Wiley has composed a wonderfully dynamic third album with The City Destroyed Me, which possesses a tough, rocking bent, as well as thoughtful, subdued balladry. Enlisting talented producer/Los Lobos sideman Steve Berlin (Tragically Hip, Faith No More) as a collaborator, Wiley ended up with a roots-y record with bite. Berlin helped whittle more than 50 of Wiley’s songs down to the 12 that appear here, and the choices reflect a sharp, dark attitude in the artist’s psyche. The title track is foreboding, both for its eerie sounds and Wiley’s imagery. "Sick Side” confirms that he’s got some seedy shit on his mind, while "Back to Bed” is the timely come down. The respite doesn’t last long, as the spirited "Big Brother/Cruel Father” pushes forward with a cool male vocal chorus and random percussion. "Wouldn’t You” has the restless, swampy groove of a Daniel Lanois production, while the potentially anthemic "North American Dream” may be tempered by its mid-tempo arrangement but it gets its critique across firmly nonetheless. In many ways, The City Destroyed Me suggests that Nathan Wiley is the consummate folk artist with just too much energy to spare. His songs are thoughtful in every sense and he needs a wall of sound behind him to put them into the air properly. (Sonic)