By: Tobin Bennison
Article Category: Local CD Review 2 Comments
Damion Suomi Needs A Little Water P Is For Panda; 2009 A fable attributed to Aesop tells of a vixen who proudly trotted her brood of young foxes in front of a lioness nursing her lone cub. “Is that all you have?” sneered the vixen. “Yes, only one,” replied the lioness. “But a lion.” Similarly, Needs A Little Water, Damion Suomi’s latest release, is a mere three tracks long — brief, by most recording standards, but a lion nonetheless. What Water lacks in length is more than made up for by the quality of the tracks themselves; it’s not so much the individual glitter of each, but the brilliant, blinding glare they emit together. On it, you can detect strains of Dylan, Costello and Billy Bragg, along with the sheer force of a young Christy Moore, but when it’s all said and done, Suomi’s sound defies easy comparison. At its heart, Needs A Little Water carves out its own path, and sounds simply like Suomi. Like a worn leather psalter that fits in the palm, Water is meant to be shared, studied, and sung along to, and Suomi offers it warmly as balm for the struggling soul. The martial, Guthrie-esque “Mustard Seed” delivers its gospel of individual ascendance with the urgency of a revivalist hymn, and “Burn The Pain” soars upward to swing from the tabernacle rafters. Closing parable “Lion, Ram, Fish” beckons the congregation outside to worship under the stars and then down the dusty road to home. And while each stands on its own as a rich chapter, it’s when joined by their brothers that their message becomes clear: that our flaws are the very keys to our salvation. Both timely and timeless, the pithy Needs A Little Water holds all that’s best about Suomi’s music: soulful, palpable playing, finely wrought imagery, and the sense of having met a rare, kindred spirit. It’s a feeling that lingers long after the album ends, and one you’ll want to experience again and again. Needs A Little Water is available for purchase through Damion Suomi’s website: www.damionsuomi.com. The site also provides links to his Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace pages.