Damien Jurado: In the Shape of a Storm review: Spare, brutal beauty

Wed, Apr 10, 2019, 07:00

   
Throw Me Now Your Arms provides a note of comfort, a grown-up lullaby, a throwing of the life buoy to a swimmer in distress.  

Album:
In the Shape of a Storm

Artist:
Damien Jurado

Label:
Loose Music

Genre:
Singer / Songwriter

The storm, in this, Jurado’s 14th studio record, is the interior one that changes shape throughout our lives. This “twisting in the vapours and the fumes” that he sings of on Lincoln is loss as transformation, as so much of his work is.

The album is voice and guitar, with his vocal carrying a worn, but purposeful tone-from Newspaper Gown and the majestic South recalling Cohen’s Songs of Leonard Cohen, with its spare, brutal beauty.

Throw Me Now Your Arms provides a note of comfort, a grown-up lullaby, a throwing of the life buoy to a swimmer in distress, while later acknowledging on Silver Ball that ‘time does not heal” a truth not so universally acknowledged.

“If I go sailing into the unknown, into the deep I am thrown” the title song posits-but it’s there he finds the answers. His late friend Richard Swift’s sensibility runs through the record like a silver arrow, and Anchors seems like a love-letter to a friend dearly missed.

It’s a moving record, where Jurado invites you to sit in the eye of the storm. It’s where you want to be.