Noam Weinstein wears his heart on his sleeve. That’s a fine trait for an artist, provided you know how to recognize it and/or use it. Plenty of artists don’t. For them, the tendency to drip all over the living room rug of sentimentality is an approximation and not an expression. Fortunately, Weinstein strikes that difficult chord precisely.
What does Weinstein love? On his new album On Waves we learn they include his family — his mother, his child, his wife; and the groove of late-’60s soul — it is evident in the bounce of “Through Your Eyes” and “Our Frequency” which succinctly singles him out as a Motown fan without seeing him and his backing band lapsing into easy parodies of the Motown Sound. It is very much about the vibe, not the trappings of it, on this effort.
But love also comes with suffering, in slight annoyances and great, shifting arcs, or rather, suffering arrives on waves of variable magnitude. It can come from the delayed gratification of romance because of all the grown-up stuff that gets in the way. It can come from saying goodbye for the last time, and hoping there will be a next time, even in the face of withering doubt about that possibility.
But joy comes on waves too, which I guess is the underlying theme of Weinstein’s album. There are waves of small pleasures and big, life-changing events. You can’t have one — joy — without the other –suffering — because each one informs the value of the other. With that said, On Waves is not a dry exegesis, so don’t think that by checking out the record you’re in for some kind of Hallmark Card of the Damned. That soul bounce keeps much of the record on its toes, and when things go into the hardcore singer-songwriter mode, Weinstein knows well enough to approach with respect for the subjects of the songs and the listeners of them.
In other words, yes his heart is on his sleeve, but that doesn’t mean Noam Weinstein’s being careless about it. On Waves is a terrific expression of that care.
You can find out more about Noam Weinstein at his website: http://enoam.com/
Pre-order On Waves on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/on-waves/id1075841362