The newly released self-titled solo project Peter Joly by Peter Joly released by Lost in America Music is something a bit different for the artist after several projects with bands including Big Breakfast and For Pilots. This acoustic feeling mix of eleven original works sounds highly personal and feels very heartfelt.
The opening song, “Heart of Stone” is a raw and real piece that tries to convince the listener that the heart of the artist is in fact no longer viable to feel and is in fact stone. The song gives us a quick glimpse into a long trail of disappointments perhaps as most people can relate to that point in time when you just feel like you can't give any more of your heart and just ignore feelings. “Your Hand in Mine” continues this same feel with a glimmer of hope as Joly invites a special person to take a chance on his bruised heart with a simple gesture of holding his hand. The folk feel gives the listener hope as they face the world with an “us against the universe” feel.
In “Till They Go”, we start to see where the heart turned to stone as we head the warning to keep family close because we do not truly know “...how awful things can go till they go.” Of all the songs in this story-like progression, I enjoyed this faster paced song with a pointed message. “God in Love in June” slowed down the pace of the album and sounds like a heartfelt confession of sorts. This was truly the most heartfelt continuation of the story. The music and lyrics seem to combine almost perfectly to give this soulful and emotional glimpse into just how one’s heart becomes stone.
“To Emilie” finally gives the audience a bit of hope as the tribute to Emilie unfolds as we learn this is who may have in fact stolen the heart before it was broken. The tribute to this fictional or real character is simple, but profound as the song leads us to believe this woman is in fact at the center of the universe even controlling something as simple of the waves crashing on the shore. This song could easily become a classic as it is truly a beautiful love song in its simplicity. “Midnight Rain” and “Lighthouse” continue the story of lost love and a journey back to life. I found Joly's voice soothing and easily transitioning between songs in a way that kept me entranced.
I also enjoyed listening to the slow change in the cold heart of the songs as the artist seemed to allow the story to change and evolve back into a hopeful tune in “Find Me.” All is not lost in a broken heart as we again learn after the storm passes that it is possible to get back to being one's self again. An upbeat tempo and positive change continues in “Times Will Change” which delivers a hopeful message most can relate to as well. We are reminded that even in the rain, there is hope. This song was a turning point for the saga and would lend its self to being a holiday song or a motivational single. “Love” is a happy compliment to the hope towards the end of the album. The message being simple, give the love you want. The final song in the album “Secret” does in fact confirm what we suspected all along, there was never a heart of stone.
I really enjoyed the raw, folk type approach to this solo project. There was a story to be told and each track gave us just a bit more information about this strong, silent type of man who loves deeply but surely doesn't want those around him to know just yet he can be hurt. The music and vocals combine in a way that would easily lend itself so a live performance with several of the songs either ready to stand alone or together to tell the complete story.
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