Rare Birds has been receiving rave reviews from the music Press.
8/10 The Line Of Best Fit
The hippie dream turns sour with some spectacular results on Jonathan Wilson’s Rare Birds.
It’s been almost five years since Jonathan Wilson’s last album, Fanfare. The LA-based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter hasn’t been idle, however: apart from acting as musical director of former Pink Floyd chief Roger Waters’ stadium-straddling mega-tour, Wilson has produced a number of other artists’ releases, most notably Father John Misty’s Pure Comedy.
4/5 The Guardian
Few albums in recent years have been so adept at aping the sound of early 70s Laurel Canyon as Jonathan Wilson’s aptly titled Gentle Spirit. It suggested that the singer-songwriter liked nothing more than lying in a hammock, a cannabis cloud above him, staring at the stars. Not so. His third solo LP proves that he’s more complicated than his hippy persona intimates, its widescreen ambition revealing his kinship with Roger Waters, whose band he joined last year. Notably, there are drum machines and synthesisers, giving parts of Rare Birds an 80s art-rock feel, plus a newfound fondness for the space between the notes. Loving You underlines Wilson’s regard for the shape-shifting one-off Arthur Russell, while the drowsy, celestial 49 Hair Flips graphically dissects an old relationship.
What would you say progressive music would sound like if, during its heyday, it was coming out of California, Grateful Dead excluded? Many names crop to mind – Steely Dan, Jefferson Airplane (Starship), The Doobie Brothers (Michael McDonald phase), Little Feat (latter day in particular) Greg after The Allmans, and probably quite a few names too. Is that what you might be looking for these days, of course, passed through the modern musical advancements?
If so, Jonathan Wilson has got it all on Rare Birds, his third solo album. Those expecting strictly the Jackson Browne, CSN&Y leanings of the first two albums need not run away, they are still here but in streams and smaller doses. Actually, Wilson himself wasn’t too happy with these comparisons.
Watch Jonathan Wilson Over The Midnight Official Video