Archer Prewitt

August 17

Expanding on the sparse, understated pop of his solo debut, In The Sun, Prewitt's 1999 follow-up, White Sky, upped the ante with majestic, meticulous compositions tinged in a melancholia linked thematically and emotionally to the autumnal equinox by cuts such as "Summer's End" and "Final Season." A sweet tantalizing treat, it was just a prelude to the epic, take-the-house jackpot of his latest, Three, where sun-kissed melodies dance suggestively across a prodigious landscape of soaring strings, hook-laden guitars and glorious keyboard figures that genuflect persuasively at the feet of beatific pop masters Arthur Lee, Burt Bacharach and Pet Sounds-era Brian Wilson. The awe-inspiring grace of his effort is matched by a buoyant optimism that pervades the disc. "Gifts of Love" rides a ringing guitar riff right out of Wedding Present into a glorious orchestral break suffused of violins, vibraphone and percolating percussion as his gentle, insistent tenor implores, "Lose your pride, let the feeling haunt you." "Over the Line" creeps in on a surf guitar line before spreading like the petals of a perennial, exposing the kind of sweeping, '70s-styled transcendence Chicago only hinted at, as he sings, "I saw your ghost, and now I'm not alone/I know you are everywhere." Without shying from the subject of heartbreak, it spins it on its finger then blows it away like a wishful eyelash.

 
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