Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Nov. 18, 2011
The Graham Weber of Women is a desperate man, broken and beaten and confronting all of his own excuses. "I'm searching for escape from all the things I do to keep myself immune," the local singer-songwriter declares on his fourth LP. Weber's a master of narrative and image in his songs, capturing slight, glinting moments that pass so tentatively by, but Women turns that attention inward for a complex emotional reckoning. As "I'm Already Lonely," "Settle Down," "Black and White," and the trembling, unadorned "Baltimore" all strike with a brutal rawness, the production and arrangements manage to balance and ease the sullen sentiment with vibrant unexpected punches, as with bookenders "Sweet Virginia Brown" and "Sleep It Off," featuring local songstresses Dana Falconberry and BettySoo, respectively. The female harmonies likewise shade both heartbreak and hope, courtesy of Carrie Rodriguez, Bonnie Whitmore, and more, Weber working through memory and gin. As in life, Women isn't always easy, but it's more than worth the struggle.