Phosphorescent: Here’s To Taking It Easy
Within the first few seconds of Here’s To Taking It Easy, Matthew Houck and Phosphorescent lay out a horn section, a swelling pedal steel and a song about rock’s fave topic, the road, which Houck pilots squarely and unapologetically toward the middle of it. The peaceful, easy-feelings of “We’ll Be Here Soon” and “The Mermaid Parade” frame Houck as a less singalong-averse Will Oldham, or Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner. He hammers big country refrains like “Heaven, Sittin’ Down,” but they feel too knotty to be memorable. Houck’s sensitive jams draw more from the shapeless folk of David Gray (plus pedal steel) than the rich Americana of Houck’s hero, Willie Nelson. Peaceful and easy, sure, and generally well done, but equally flavorless.