Royal Wood

The Waiting

BY Rachel SandersPublished May 31, 2010

With grander arrangements and more conviction in his chocolate-rich vocals, Royal Wood steps up on his third album, confirming his position amongst the cream of Canada's songwriting crop. The Waiting opens with the almost unbearably slick "You Can't Go Back," but immediately moves into rougher terrain with the breathtaking "Do You Recall"; Wood's urgently thudding piano line reels you in and leaves you helpless in its crashing surf of drums and electric pop. The Toronto, ON songwriter pushes his melodies to their limits throughout the first half of the album, hitting another high note with the clatter and rumble of "On Top Of Your Love." The intensity ebbs midway through and he returns to subtler acoustic arrangements that recall his earlier work, placing his affecting lyrics centre stage. It all winds down with the beautifully weary "When Nothing's Left," in which the wrung-out tenor of Wood's crooning demonstrates the emotional depths he's plumbed for the sake of musical magic.

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