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The Best of Gloucester County - Sounds Familyre
FILTER Grade: 86%

By Marty Sartini Garner on April 5, 2011



Daniel Smith’s catalogue is stuffed to the stars with big songs by big bands drawn to a point by that high-torn voice trying to fit its way through a needle’s eye, but Gloucester County strips away the filigree, leaving behind a record unafraid to show its carpentry. If you ever doubted the substance behind Smith’s luminescence, here’s your chance to reconsider. Gloucester County’s arrangements are ambitious without being overbearing; “Olympic Portions” builds chant-like on skittering washes of acoustic guitar and thumping kick-drum while the wide stage of “Denominator Bluise” frees the hanging piano to hover in and out of time. For the most part, Smith parks his trademark squeak, singing instead from deep in the pocket with a confidence that radiates outward to the band’s playing. As strong as his previous records may be, on Gloucester County Smith sounds as if there’s nothing left to prove. And so there’s no longer any reason to doubt.

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