? 1994



This Way Out



Like a mercurial landscape, Idaho’s This Way Out cuts through a bleak winter in search of the budding spring flower, a crisp golden brown autumn leaf and the delirious sigh of summer’s joy. Singer/songwriter Jeff Martin wields modest earthly tools: the trials and tribulations of this crazy thing called life, a dreamy voice and just enough torturous, self-deprecating momentum to elevate his music from indie-whine to art-rock. Faster than Codeine but slower than the rest, Idaho has more inertly profound tension that a see-saw. Songs like “Taken” and “Weird Wood” gently build from subtle lulls to quiet storms while “Drive It” and “Fuel” have weighty tempos augmented by hesitant intervals.


As profusive as Idaho’s music, the lyrics are equally powerful. Martin writes and sings with the simple abstractness of Leonard Cohen: there may not be a “Maryann” or “Bird On A Wire” here, but there’s certainly “Forever”, “Sweep”, and “Still” – slow, acoustically endowed ballads as harmonically balanced as anything Cohen ever turned out. Listing to This Way Out is a blithe journey, one that leaves you swollen, achy and inspired, wishing to god you could unbottle the fears of your own personal lament.


- Judy Jade Miller