January 7, 2006

On its latest album “The Lone Gunman,” Idaho has been distilled to its one constant member, Jeff Martin. If Martin used this record as a demo to get his new job composing for the NBC series “Inconceivable,” one can easily see why he got the job. The cuts are not so much songs as they are abstract, melancholy mood pieces. Largely eschewing the four-string guitars that were Martin's trademark on previous Idaho albums, the instrumentation is mostly driven by various keyboards and percussion. However, Martin's charming vocals remain as achingly intimate as ever. Indeed, some of the most memorable singing and songwriting comes in the album's middle third, especially in songs like “Have To Be” and “Cherry Wine.” The buzz about “The Lone Gunman” is that it is more or less a political statement, but this is not readily apparent on first listen. What is apparent is that it's a great soundtrack to a slow, bittersweet sadness. Now, WUSM2 and the good folks at Retrophonic have conspired to give you two exclusive MP3s from this CD. Download the evocative song [The Mystery] and the instrumental [Wet Work], exclusively available here.


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