Robert Cherry
"Paint No Devils"

(Requisite Recordings 2007)Robert Cherry - Paint No Devils

Those familiar with Robert Cherry from his previous solo work or his time with Ether Net may be a little surprised by his new solo effort, "Paint No Devils." With help from John Curley (Staggering Statistics, ex-Afghan Whigs), Cherry's music has got an edgier new spin on it which transforms his usually dark, sober sound into something a bit more unexpected.

Many of the songs take Cherry's stone faced performances and layer them with loose background vocals and full instrumentation. On "More Dark Than Black," Cherry's delicate melody is matched with quickly strummed bright chords as he considers a new beginning. Dark and steady, the album's title track will not be rushed as it slowly creeps past; pounding drums towards the end adding an epic feeling amidst the swirling melody. Loose, up tempo rock draws listeners in and offers a bright patch on the otherwise low key album with "My Midnight Sun" and "New Me And You" while "Hollywood, Ending" is soft and dreamy. But it is the album's closing track, the rhythmic "Whatever's Left," that sticks. With its pseudo Latin meets '50s style sound, the song gently segues into practically a different album altogether, as instrumentation adds piping organ and slow electric guitar licks.

As always, Cherry's songwriting and musical abilities are clearing in attendance on "Paint No Devils." It is instead the choices of how the songs are embellished which inspires a question mark. For taking chances, it is easy to applaud Cherry. But if it was never broke, did it need to be fixed? It is a hard call with "Paint No Devils."