Jonathan Spottiswoode has opened up his soul and given us this confessional telling of stories, emotions, and ideas in the vein of Lyle Lovett, Tom Waits and John Easdale. Building A Road contains contributions by Spottiswoode on vocals and guitar, and his backup band, nicknamed His Enemies on trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, mandolin, drums, bass, accordion, and assorted keyboards. Add to this, three amazing background singers in Renee Cologne, Alexis England, and Victoria Villalobos and you have the making for driving music sprinkled with unique instrumental turns.
"I'm In Love With An Angry Girl" and "You Will Rise Again" mix Motown with Gospel to create a sound that only Lyle Lovett has mastered. On "One Way Street" we have a touch of Americana that reminds me a little of David Baerwald. But the highlight of this CD is the title track "Building A Road". I can hear Al Green all over this tune. Spottiswoode mixes great lyrics with emotional delivery, and then gives way to the three sirens to take the song to heights that make you jump out of your seat and scream "have you seen the light". "I Get Blue" is an excellent modern blues song.
This is a CD that is going to get labeled. There really isn't anyway around that. Those people that like Motown will tend to call it a soul CD, those that like singer-songwriter will call it Americana, but really this is neither and both at the same time. Beyond the above mentioned bands, I can recommend Building A Bridge for any fan of The Blasters, Dave Alvin or John Hiatt.
1. Drunk (2:55)
2. Youngest Child (2:37)
3. I'm In Love With An Angry Girl (2:49)
4. One Way Street (2:49)
5. Building A Road (4:14)
6. Play Me In Your Bedroom (5:46)
7. You Will Rise Again (5:35)
8. Lazarus (3:04)
9. Lost Again (3:21)
10. I Didn't Hurt You Intentionally (4:26)
11. I'm Back Up (6:31)
12. Never Gonna Get That Girl (3:51)
13. I Get Blue (4:49)
14. No One Has A Clue (3:07)
15. The Way She Looked At Me (5:50)
16. The Sun Still Shines (4:56)
17. Broken World (2:53)