Marc Silver offers listeners a unique blend of folk and country tunes with his latest offering, Naïve Lovers. The album feels like a trip back to the 70s, with songwriting similar to James Taylor and Gordon Lightfoot. It is a far cry from the jazz he studied in college, born of his love of a more folksy sound that developed when he discovered artists like Ryan Adams and Gillian Welch. Listeners will be drawn to Marc’s gravelly vocals and melancholy lyrics. Naïve Lovers features ten new songs by Marc that are a wonderful sampling of Americana.
The song “Won’t Cross Over The Line” is a Nashville-inspired song that T. Bone Burnett would likely wish he had written. It is also the most upbeat track, with infectious harmonies and a melody guaranteed to get toes tapping. The other upbeat track is “Devil’s Dust,” which features some fantastic harmonica playing by Bob Beach and a very Dylanesque vocal. The rest of the album is much more mellow. Listening to the songs on Naïve Lovers, it is easy to imagine Marc sitting by a campfire, strumming his guitar and playing “Long Grown Cold” or “Trouble’s Come Over Our Love.” The only thing that could make this album better would be the addition of more songs with a faster pace to round things out a bit better. Marc proves that he can do tracks like that with “Won’t Cross Over The Line” and “Devil’s Dust,” and it leaves the listener longing for more, especially with eight other songs that are acoustic-based.
The lyrics are very open and honest. Even his love songs reflect this honesty, particularly “Babe, Be Mine Tonight.” It tugs the heartstrings as he sings “Darling take your time. Don’t let worry trouble your mind. Darling come to me.” These aren’t the typical mushy lyrics of a love song. These are the lyrics of a man who cares deeply about the lady in question.
The first two songs “Oh My God” and “My Dawn Is An Endless Night” seem to carry a similar theme, though the latter has a more spiritual bent. Both songs are about a person who has lost their way, be it in life or love. Marc’s lyrics convey the differences in meaning beautifully. In “Oh My God” he sings, “Oh my God, I’ve lost my way. Mama won’t you carry me home. If this breath were the last of our life’s incantation, what words would you wish to impart?,” and in “My Dawn Is An Endless Night” he sings “I lost my way, through endless days, now when I pray, I don’t know what for.” These lyrics are so deep and rich that the listener feels the struggles of each song. “Showered In Your Grace” is one of those songs that leaves the listener wondering about its meaning. Is it a song of lost love? Or of a person lost to him? Or is it just simply a beautiful yet sad song? Whichever way it is interpreted, it is a beautiful, yet sad, two and a half minutes.
The title track is a moody tune whose melody seems a little close at times to Garth Brooks’ “Thunder Rolls.” Lyrically, the song feels like a Lightfoot tune, especially with the mention of freight trains in the opening verse.
The real appeal of these songs is their simplicity. There are not a lot of instruments being utilized in most of the songs on Naïve Lovers. Most of the time, it seems like only guitars and vocals, though on “My Dawn Is An Endless Night” you hear the piano playing of Andrew Lipke. Simplicity is king here. With Naïve Lovers, Marc Silver has created a beautiful piece of Americana for the world to hear and enjoy.
Review by Andrea Guy
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)