Please ignore the fact that Skeleton Key has been out since January and I’m just now getting around to really listening to it and writing a review. I almost skipped it. I was going to give a quick listen, do a rating for myself to keep tabs on what’s come out this year and move on. But Skeleton Key is beautiful and I felt I needed to say something about it.
There are moments that absolutely capture your attention and touch your heart. The title track is the first track on the record that grabs your attention. The song is warm and familiar. It’s the type of track you wish you had on vinyl. Grey Town isn’t quite as cozy sounding, but when the hook hits, you’re captured. 27 sounds like a better version of what Mat Kearney was doing on Nothing Left to Lose (the folk side of that record). Light Years is another captivating track. The grittiness on the intro of Have You Ever Seen the Rain is unexpected and different. The track quickly dives down and away from what you start to expect from the song. When that gritty refrain finally reemerges it fits beautifully.
Sure, I don’t particularly love Riverside. And there are a bunch of nice songs that don’t stand out to me. But those songs that really grab your attention are worth it. Skeleton Key is an album I wish I had on vinyl. 4 out of 5 Stars.