This past year my taste in music, literature and film has taken on a very distinct and desperate tone. Perhaps the best example of that can be found in Matthew Perryman Jones's album, an odyssey of self-discovery, Land of the Living.
In recent years I've enjoyed the Avett Brothers and other groups found in the Americana or folk culture, but Matthew Perryman Jones has outdone them all with songwriting so keen and so affecting that you can think for weeks about each song.
Much of the music world is criticized for being shallow, and Jones puts that notion to shame if he is ever added to a similar generality. His lines and thoughts are complex to the point that removing a word could undermine the meaning and song construction.
Whether it be abstract or literal, art is the expression of who the artist is. In the case of Jones, sincerity is in everything he wrote. As a means of dealing with the death of his father he put this album together as a portrait of the journey. I'm thankful he allowed us to take it with him.
Land of the Living is a soul-stirring album with lines that illustrate the struggles Jones went through while giving you hope that one day you'll reach your destination - a place well worth the journey.