The Bottom Line
- Missing You (With Alison Krauss)
- St. Patrick's Day
- New York City Girl
- When I See You Smile
- Not for quiet folkies
- Stunning duet with Alison Krauss on "Missing You"
- Excellent cover of Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited"
- Includes everything from pop to folk and the blues
Guide Review - John Waite - Downtown Journey of a Heart
He even covers himself, backed up by the always glorious Alison Krauss, whose performance on Waite's classic "Missing You" gives the song a new depth of melody and emotion that you didn't know was missing from the original.
From there, as if walking, broken-hearted, away from Krauss, Waite moves through the blues with "Keys to Your Heart," a tune that sounds half-way between the Eagles and Steve Winwood.
It's difficult to pin just what Waite is driving at with Downtown. His roots-rock rhythms intermingle nicely with doo-woppy background vocalists, intermittent piano and harmonica. At times, it sounds like someone's banging on a brake drum or even tin cans, though that's nowhere in the instrument credits.
"New York City Girl" starts with what sounds like almost canned percussion and piano, but quickly builds layer upon layer of piano, guitar, and organic drumming, all the way up to the penultimate electric guitar solo. It's enough to make cliché-ish lyrics like "There's an angel on the D train," forgivable.
In fact, it's the impressive instrumentation that makes this record much more well-rounded than we may be used to from John Waite. Still, as usual, Waite's work is not intended for quiet, intimate moments and Downtown leans more toward roots-rock than folk, it's a good record for driving with the windows down.