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Joe Henry, ‘Civilians’ (Anti-)

Following the tumultuous din of 2003’s Tiny Voices, singer/songwriter (and producer) Joe Henry scales back to a picked-bones simplicity on his contemplative tenth album. A skilled genre-hopper, Henry chooses to nestle in a weary, blues-inflected groove, delivering clear-eyed tales about regret, America, and Willie Mays — sometimes all at once, as on “Our Song.” While his unapologetically Dylan-esque vocals grate on weaker tunes (the rambling “Civil War”), gems like the softly rollicking “Time Is a Lion” allow Henry to step out with a quiet roar.

Now Hear This: Joe Henry – “Our Song” DOWNLOAD MP3