Starting at the age of 13 Henry Mittnacht was writing and recording his own material. Apparently with a ridiculous surplus of songs to chose from he recently released Waiting Near which contains some excellent songwriting that should be put on first thing in the morning. Most of the songs burst with an optimism that doesn't sound contrived but honest and heartfelt. Mittnacht covers a variety of genres and surprisingly they work together really well despite a few stumbles. You get a folk song followed by a funk-inspired Sublime-esque song. A gritty rock n roll number that seems oddly accessible after listening to an angelic acoustic ballad. The reason this works is because the songs are really good. You quickly get over the fact that the album has a somewhat odd flow when you hear how catchy some of these songs are (check out “Make” – my god you’ll be hooked after the first chorus).
The album starts off incredibly strong with “They Say You Stole the Gin” which lays down a steady kick drum and gritty guitar melody for the real attraction, the vocal, to take center stage. It’s a song that drips with Americana and would be something the Fleet Foxes would be proud of. “The Gambler” is a simple yet catchy folk song that has original lyrics that refrain from sounding cliché. I have to say “Don't Call Me Now” was probably my least favorite. I liked the beginning but felt that by the end of the song he was veering a little too far from his strengths. The Sparse “Come First” relies on excellent lead vocal work and some gorgeous guitar picking. The rock-inspired “You Will Never Fall” works pretty well. Crunchy guitar infests this song as his vocals adapt and play the role of rock singer. The serene “Roses” would fit nice and snug right next to “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel. One of the catchiest choruses I have heard is in the song “Make.” It's simply hard not to like it.
The album ends with “I Don't Know Why” which is an a cappella song that lasted 39 seconds – cool way to end the album.
Overall this album is exceptional in that it provides a variety of different genres that work in the context of the album because of the inspired talent behind the music
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