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ALBUM REVIEW: Seth Davis - Life Is Long
By Anastasia K - 03/23/2016 - 11:04 AM EDT

Artist: Seth Davis
Album: Life Is Long
Label: Independent
Genre: Acoustic folk/pop
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Weakness: Too short (but there are 3 more albums!)
CD Review: SO RELATABLE!!! When I got this submission from Seth Davis, I instantly smiled. I knew we’d get along. This is about everyday challenges that touch a lot of us, some good, and some not so good…

“Life Is Long”, and considering all of life’s hardships that we go through, along with the good times, it’s nice to have this album along for the ride. Seth Davis writes about what affects us all, and it’s like having an understanding friend with you all along.

This is Seth Davis’ 4th album. Seth is joined by Rhett Miller (old 97s), Simone Felice (Felice Brothers, The Duke and the King), and many other fine musicians. This is all evident in the rich and compelling layering of accompanying instruments, taking you by surprise. A good surprise. Everything from the backing vocals, to the strings, to the winds, all come in at the perfect moment… constantly surprising you, but perfectly timed and placed.

Fresh-sounding, faintly reminiscent of Tom Waits... this is bursting with simple melodies, straightforward lyrics, yet all the song are so multi-dimensional. Songs start with a simple beat, and then the layers are slowly revealed, unassumingly, and before you know it, you’re immersed in it, with all the richness of the guitars, drums, horns.

I don’t know about you, but I like listening to an album in the order that it’s presented. This album starts by getting you tapping your foot, moving in your seat, and then, at the halfway mark, sits you down for a quiet listening break, and leaves you there… hooked and taking note. And then reaching for the replay button to do it all over again!

There are too many great lyrics to quote. You will have to listen to this for yourself, and you will see what I mean.

Love, Pt. 2 (feat. Jim White) LOVE this!! Songwriting – excellent in all aspects: lyrics, reachability, melody; all the right ingredients. It starts off very quiet and simple, and then the wind instruments start to come in as the song progresses, returning to more bare bones near the end. Just a great tune!!

Writing You Out of My Song (feat. Jim White, Rhett Miller & Simone Felice) – This is a stick-it-to-you break-up song! Good stuff! Full of clichés, but oh-so-fitting for the typical thing that happens to relationships – break-ups! And honestly, when are the break-ups ever good? In the midst of this bad situation, this song provides some good chuckles. Well done, those backing vocals throwing in those quips! An ode to all my exes!

Hummingbird (feat. Jim White) – Wow! Ode to a Hummingbird… in whatever form your hummingbird takes.

On My Way (feat. Jim White) – Catchy! Nice layering of the vocals. Nice build-up of the percussion… progressively getting stronger and louder… building anticipation.. (a common trait in most of these tunes.)

Ride (feat. Jim White)  Take a break from all the toe-tapping. It’s for a good cause: this song.

Disappear (feat. Jim White) All I can think of is "uplifting". This one’s for everyone, no matter what your faith.

Riddle and Rhyme (feat. Jim White) Love the lyrics in this! Any song that rhymes the words “berserk” and “jerk” is a fave of mine! Funny!

Won't Fall Down (feat. Rhett Miller & Jim White) Ah…. that “choir”-ish background accompaniment renews your strength…. 

Sheena (Was a Punk Rocker) [feat. Jim White] –I’m just loving this tune. It has a bit of an ‘80s sound, which I love; reminds me of…. The Cars? Fantastic arrangement!

FAVE: Baby, I'm Your Man – Oh… this one tugs at my heartstrings. Where can I find a man like this? And it’s sung with so much honesty and feeling.. this just makes me cry. This Sunday bird loves this song.

Strong and engaging beats get you hooked, and keep your interest with the clever lyrics. The rhymes are just simple, but not trite. Applause!!!! It is so hard to make simple rhymes without crossing the corny line!

Perhaps this is how I’m feeling these days. Very likely, as I can’t get enough of these songs. Seth, we’re going to be friends for a long time. What else you got? (Check out his site. There is so much more to be discovered!)

Notable mention: “Kim” is a song about Seth’s late brother. Seth included this in his submission – and I’m OH SO glad… It’s a beautiful tribute that moved me and it’s too good not to share. Here is the YouTube link:

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