True, by Willie Wisely Trio

July 18, 2012

This troubadour is a master of melody and pop invention, as evidenced on his McCartneyesque 1996 album She. Wisely returns to sparkling form here, and with depth to boot: the bouncy, semi-bluesy “Everybody Fears the Lord” offers wry commentary on religious hypocrisy (“No jumping ship when it goes down / No shaking his hand when Jesus comes to town”):

The title tune gilds rambling country-rock with Neil Diamond horn lines; “The Kensington Lows” tips its hat to vintage Kinks; the album closer “Surreal” is a 26-minute pop stomp worthy of a mock-rock opera.