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Joe Pisapia

DAYDREAMS (Ambassador) • Joe Pisapia

Gorgeous. The soulful effervescence is overwhelming. A neighborhood saint reaches down into his soul and pulls out an unknown flower, and offers it like a bite of a candy bar.

We're very big fans of Joe, Marc's Brother (see our review) and this is the shocking solo debut of Joe Pisapia. The gleaming, soothing spark of originality irrepressibly bubbles up from every track.

He lets his wise naivete rule, and his childlike approach to his musical prowess is its perfect companion. A sharp turn from the inspired vocal pop of the aforementioned JMB, Daydreams pulls hard and brilliantly from many corners of American music, and uses lots of different instruments to get there, mostly played by the artist. But the string playing and arranging of Chris Carmichael on a half dozen cuts really put this disc over the top for me. The songs are so different from everything I'm used to hearing, I've been reveling in the experience of my ears opening up. So few records do that, it's a crying shame. I had that experience live when Joe joined us this past year for the monthly Puremusic show in Nashville, debuting some songs from this work in progress. But hearing them produced is infinitely more amazing, because the arrangements, playing, and production are every bit as mindblowing as the songs are. Special people are doing astonishing things in their bedroom studios today.

These songs are like paintings, that's what it is. So many I hear are like TV shows. I watch at least as much TV as the next guy, and I like plenty of songs that are like TV shows. But when I get next to a great painting, I shut up and look at it as carefully as I can, and take it in. And that's how I'm listening to this record. Again and again. There is simply so much raw genius, such a clear channel going on, so pure a gift going down, I can't quite believe it.

By the third time I played it, I needed this record. I play it every day, and it's more than working for me. It's working on me. Listen to it here, and by all means, buy it. It's fantastic.

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