Thorn's Musical Journey - Broken Sword
With numerous references to religious imagery, and the occasional mention of God, one might be forgiven for thinking that Thorn's Musical Journey are - whisper it - a Christian band. Sufjan Stevens and David Bazan have proven, though, that it's possible to have a particular spiritual perspective and still write subtle, thoughful music. Leaving aside the issue of whether this outfit are in the religious closet, then, Darren Thornberry provides an understated acoustic menagerie of songs laced with his thoughful crooning. Broken Sword doesn't push the envelope with its flute and bongos, but the quiet fingerpicking is layered with some delicate lead guitar and lyrical self-awareness (the highlight being Middle of My Rope, a song that cleverly comments on middle-class Christian angst). While describing an album as pleasant might seem to be a Judas' kiss, in this case, no clever betrayal is intended; this is solid stuff, irrespective of your religious persuasion.