A refreshing product and the first album release since her move from Blue Note to eOne Music, “Another Country” proves to be a strong and soothing addition to Cassandra Wilson’s seventeen album discography. Though the newest release is a short two year successor of the studio release of “Silver Pony”, the most relevant and overall tone of the album is that of the beauty, pain, and wisdom that only comes with taking the many long and seemingly endless journeys that are sure to be traveled in life.
The attractiveness of “Another Country” lay in the versatility of the arrangement of the music. On a surface level, “Another Country” could easily provide the relaxed and mellow soundtrack to that perfect vacation you’ve been needing. On a more in depth listen, the lyrical content coupled with the jazzy mood of the melodies and harmonies is sure to appeal to the individual that is on a personal journey or recently surviving the ever changing tides of the human experience.
In this context, the introductory “Red Guitar” opens the album with a heavy bass and sultry vibe that draws you in with intrigue, quickly followed by the funky and southern blues feel of starting over with “No More Blues”.
Moving through to the body of the album, the tone briefly shifts to a darker place with “O Sole Mio” and “Deep Blue”. The latter of which oozes melancholy and offers a deliberate and infrequent mis-stroking of chords for emphasis.
What was satisfying about this element of the album is that she did not decide to dwell there and finish the album with somber but jazzy ballads. Instead, similar to that of life, she picked up the tempo and sentiment and moved forward with “Almost Twelve” and the title track “Another Country”.
Cassandra Wilson – Almost Twelve
Finally, the album delivers the beauty and celebration of reaching a comforting resolve and peace of mind in the form of the lyric-less “Letting You Go” and “Olomururo”. The mix of sadness and happiness in the chords and melody presented by the complementary acoustic guitars speak gently yet firmly to the ear. One common and understandable fear of artists when faced with changing labels is the fear that their overall sound will change whether it be for the better or worse. Thankfully, this was not the case Cassandra Wilson’s “Another Country” which stayed true to Ms. Wilson’s classic authentic instrumentals and mother earth vocals.