Randy Stern, New York indie-rock staple, releases his first solo album in 2009 with Give. Its an Americana delight with scores of layers and a choir of vocal support. Opener, Deeper and Deeper, is an indie-folk by-product of what Stern clearly has built much of his success. Like an Elvis Costello roots rocker, it will have you singing along by the second chorus.
Better Days, an early track, groove along with the same emotion of any Bruce Springsteen anthem. Better Days is delivered and you can sense the trueness of a better horizon and future.
A later track, In the Midnite, is sung like a lullaby. It harnesses space and stillness in the first verse only to erupt at the chorus. Its a darker tune, "I can't feel your lovin' touch no more," but Stern succeeds as this might be one of his better tracks.
Give seems like an accurate portrait of Stern and his vision of life/culture. Its been crafted with care and attention to detail - a solid album.
RATING: 4 of 5 stars