Sandro Perri - Soft Landing LP
It took seven years for Sandro Perri to return with an album under his own name, releasing In Another Life ("his outsider pop masterpiece" - Exclaim) in the fall of 2018, as the much-anticipated follow-up to his acclaimed full-length Impossible Spaces (#38 album of 2011 at Pitchfork, among other accolades). But the Perri floodgates have now well and truly opened: the flow of sparkling, eddying music he’s been meticulously doling out of late (including two recent volumes of collaborative avant-electronic work with his Off World project) charts another vital, rejuvenating tributary with Soft Landing. Rounding up songs he’s been toying with for the better part of the last decade, Perri enters his third decade of music-making with this lovely, langourous collection of subtly detailed soft rock - his most guitar-based album since 2007’s Tiny Mirrors. Rightly celebrated as "one of the most singular producers in contemporary music" (Boomkat) for his widely varied electronic work, Perri’s foundations as a guitarist have always factored into his ‘solo’ albums in one form or another. On Soft Landing, Perri’s guitar is at the calm and expressively rambling heart of these tunes - while his recording and mixing acumen as a (self) producer is, as always, on brilliant display. "God Blessed The Fool" is a splendid stroke of sultry slow-burn soul that finds Sandro busting out his sweet falsetto; "Wrong About The Rain" channels only the choicest tropes of syncopated 70s-era soft-rock, with Perri weaving ornate guitar licks around a succulent interplay of clavinet and trap kit, resulting in one of the most immediately satisfying tunes he’s ever put to tape - high praise for someone with such a stellar catalogue to date, but we’re confident fans will agree. And as with last year’s In Another Life (which comprised two album-length sides of ‘infinite song’), Soft Landing includes the 16-minute track "Time (You Got Me)", an enchanted mid-tempo excursion anchored by a gently sliding guitar riff and a serene vocal singing a wistfully acquiescent love letter to the fourth dimension. Paced by congas, shakers, claves, impressionistic piano and even the occasional wind chime, Perri wraps up his final vocal refrain by the song’s fifth minute and then steers the instrumental theme down a long and winding road in his inimitable style - like a stroll along a country lane where every glint of dappled sunlight catches another rustling, animate micro-detail. Thanks for listening.