Home Read Classic Album Review: David Baerwald | Here Comes the New Folk Underground

Classic Album Review: David Baerwald | Here Comes the New Folk Underground

The underappreciated singer-songwriter shines on his first album in a decade.

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


Don’t let the title fool you: Singer-songwriter David Baerwald is a long way from being an emerging artist.

He’s been skulking around on the periphery of fame for nearly two decades — first in ’80s popsters David and David, then as a solo artist, a player on Sheryl Crow’s Tuesday Night Music Club and even a songwriter on the film Moulin Rouge. But his comeback disc Here Comes the New Folk Underground — his first solo album in a decade — may finally make him more than a fuzzy blip on the pop culture radar. Now 42, Baerwald owns a strong yet supple voice that can remind you of either Lyle Lovett or Van Morrison, depending on how he uses it, along with a smart, skewed songwriting style often compared to Randy Newman. Here, he puts both to good use on 10 compellingly literate, melodically rich, smoothly produced roots-rock and soul-pop tales with names like Bozo Weirdo Wacko Creep, If (A Boy Whore In A Man’s Jail) and Little Fat Cowboy. “I’m just as freaky as a man could ever be,” he claims at one point. And just about as talented.