Great Lyrics, Great Melodies
"Green Mountains and Me" (purchase/download) is one of the disc's finer tunes, with its sparse instrumentation, chugging rhythm, and tight, subtle harmonies. It's a fairly typical tune of love and longing with un-pretentious lyrics that are easy without coming off cliche - always a feat for a songwriter: "Come back my darlin / each night I pray on bended knee / won't you come back to the green mountains and me."
Highlights and the Blues
Everything You Love keeps building all the way to the finish, as each song is better than the one before it. By the time it gets to "Beautiful Thing" (purchase/download), Cleaves is shaping his eagle-eyed observations around topical lyrics and hard-hitting lines like, "Put it on the television screens, I'll believe it / It's a beautiful thing." The disc closer, "Temporary" (purchase/download), though, is by far the best moment on the disc. "Behold what nature gave you," he sings. "All you see / every love and every dream / Temporary as the morning dew will turn to steam." It's a beautiful testament to life's details and a call to appreciate each moment - a wonderful end to an album that's sure to stick with you.