Singer-songwriter Stewart McKee and poet Stephanie Augustine are The Poet & The Prophet. The duo recently released Halfway Out of the Dark. The album is split between spoken word poetry and melancholy acoustic songs. I’ll say up front that it's a pretty cool idea that I thought was unique. It’s a heavy album and I think people will embrace it or not have anything to do with it.
I think the The spoken word pieces may come off as self-indulgent and melodramatic to some people but it’s really all about perspective. “Halfway Out at the Dark” is a spoken word piece. The music is pretty and ethereal while the delivery is heartfelt. In all honesty I'm not exactly sure what the piece is about but that's some of the beauty about poetry. That being said the themes are broad and dealt with dark vs light.
“This Is My Story” is a fleshed out piece acoustic piece that is sung by Mckee. It’s has the same kind of emotional weight and heavy feel as the spoken word piece. The instrumentation isn’t very dynamic but more atmospheric. However, the vocals are dynamic and carry the song. I thought the production was decent but the vocals could have fit better in the mix. A tinge of more reverb would have helped out.
“Lilly's” is another spoken word piece. She ponders “So here I sit at the edge searching into the unknown/If I let go/if I fell in love would I melt away/here I might just stay forever“. "Gossamer” is another acoustic based song but more hopeful and upbeat than “This Is My Story”. “Just You and Me/Rest in Peace” is a pretty but melancholy piece while “Sojourners” and “Pull Me Close” are just as heavy. “Refuge” is a little less ambiguous than some of the other pieces. It revolves around preconceived notion of what loving someone would be like as opposed to the reality.
Halfway Out of the Dark is an emotionally draining album with very little levity. It’s not one I think a lot of people will be playing on repeat. That's not meant to be an insult some of my favorite albums I can only listen to about once a year. It’s not an album you will want to play at a get together but more inclined to be played when you are in a contemplative, reflective mood.
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