Style: Meditative folk and ballads, compare to Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen

Top tracks: "Jonathan," "Surprise," "Old Black Dodge"

Hard to believe that Rowe cut Magic in the 21st century and not thirty years ago. With a sonorous baritone reminiscent of Gil Scott-Heron, songs that recall old-fashioned rock in the Springsteen vein, slippery, mystical ballads from the Van Morrison school, and wordy song-poems a la Leonard Cohen, Rowe is a man completely out of time. But his sublime, sophisticated songwriting makes it clear that he's neither an imitator nor a poseur: Rowe brings spiritual searching to lyrics culled from religious and naturalistic imagery, writing complex parables of existential searching in "The Walker" and "American," penning a harshly-worded (including one f-bomb) but gripping car crash narrative, "Jonathan," and flat-out asking "Where is my Lord?" on the last line of "Night."

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Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
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Release Date
February 1, 2011
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