‘Visitor’ – John Moreland – New Album Review
UPDATED: April 9, 2024
UPDATED: April 9, 2024
Visitor

After spending six months away from the constant buzz of the digital world, John Moreland has made a surprisingly quiet return with his new album, Visitor. The break wasn’t just about stepping away from music for a bit; it was a deeper search for some peace in what feels like an endlessly noisy world. And yet here I am, adding my own noise back into that digital world with this review, fully aware of the irony. Moreland, in his quiet corner of Bixby, Oklahoma, has been crafting this album away from smartphones and the relentless stream of information, and it’s clear he’s found something special in the silence.

Visitor

Visitor is branded as “Folk Rock” by Moreland himself, but honestly, I would describe it as distinctly “Moreland”. That unmistakable fingerstyle guitar we’ve all come to cherish is front and center. Moreland takes a hands-on approach with this album, not just in its performance where he plays nearly every instrument, but also in its production, recording it right from his living room couch. The album strips back the layers, focusing on Moreland’s voice and lyrics, showcasing his incredible ability to tell stories and evoke emotions. This simplicity is a breath of fresh air, standing in stark contrast to the overproduced tracks we often hear. While Pearl Rachinsky and John Calvin Abney lend their talents to the album, adding depth and richness, the core of Visitor remains an intimate glimpse into Moreland’s world, his thoughts, and his unmatched talent for songwriting and storytelling.

John Moreland

Songs and Lyrics

Lyrically it’s what you’ve come expect from a poet like John Moreland. I’ll be the first to say, as much as I love his work, the albums aren’t always easily digestible for a feeble brain like my own. Moreland is the king of metaphors as we wander through his inner thoughts, painted during his time away from the world. Each track is a portrait, capturing moments of quiet introspection and raw insight. It’s a rare kind of music that feels intensely personal yet strikes a chord with anyone who listens. It’s the kind of artwork, similar to Charles Wesley Godwin’s Family Ties, that you have to set with and digest. From the get-go, The Future Is Coming Fast doesn’t just play; it transports you into Moreland’s perspective, observing our collective dive into the digital age without casting blame, merely watching, and reflecting. This gentle way of seeing, without rushing to judge, is what gives the album its soul.

Digging deeper into the tracks, Gentile Violence and One Man Holds The World Hostage shimmer with their deep, reflective lyrics, showcasing Moreland’s knack for voicing the tangled feelings we’re navigating today, both globally and in the corners of our own minds. His lyrics don’t shy away from the darkness or the complexity of the times we’re living in, yet there’s always this thread of hope, this relentless search for meaning beyond the chaos of our digital lives.

Tracklist:

Song Title
The Future Is Coming Fast
Gentle Violence
One Man Holds The World Hostage
Sobo Interlude
The More You Say, The Less It Means
Will The Heavens Catch Us?
Blue Dream Carolina
Silver Sliver
Ain’t Much I Can Do About It
No Time
Bixhoma Interlude
Visitor

Final Thoughts

John Moreland comes to rescue us from our digital overlords.

Visitor marks a powerful comeback for John Moreland, igniting a deep-seated urge within me to just say “fuck it all” and retreat to a secluded cabin, away from the relentless barrage of technology and societal demands. This album illuminates the tumultuous times we’re navigating, whether it’s through its commentary on political landscapes or the digital saturation that dominates our lives. While not everyone can afford the luxury of escaping into solitude, Visitor offers a compelling alternative. It’s a musical haven that provides a semblance of that sought-after isolation and introspection, serving as a bridge to the peace and clarity we’re all searching for in this fast-paced world.

 

Album Release: April 5, 2024

Label: Old Omens distributed by Thirty Tigers

Favorite Tracks: Gentile Violence, Silver Silver

 

RootsnRevelry Grade:                           

B-

For Tour and Merch: Follow John Moreland

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