By Al Kaufman
The late Chet Baker and Jeff Buckley had them. Rufus Wainright and KD Lang have them. We’re speaking of voices that transcend gender in their beauty. They are gorgeously androgynous voices that make you want to sleep with their owners regardless of your gender or sexual preference. Seth Glier has such a voice. At the tender age of 22, Glier sounds like a man (or woman) that has been through love and heartbreak, triumph and defeat. He sounds like a person who has lived 150 years and each and every emotional experience he has had has traveled to his still young and lively vocal chords.
The Next Right Thing, Boston native Glier’s second album, opens with a title track. It is a foot-stomping, bluesy gospel tune, complete with shaking tambourines, in which Glier sounds like the bastard child of Tom Waits and KT Tunstall. It is instantly engaging, and nothing else on the CD is as riveting.
What the remainder of the CD does offer is a collection of beautiful pop songs. Like Rachael Sage — the glittery and glamorous piano playing songstress who writes about the personal without being self-indulgent, and signed Glier to her MPress label — Glier can write a pop song. Melodies ebb and flow, choruses swell, and behind them all, Glier lays the foundation with his piano and voice. He may add some seductive strings or horns (and does so very effectively on “Walk Katie Home” and “First,” respectively), and the cool banjo picking that opens the rich pop gem (and first single) “Lauralee,” lifts it to a new level, but what will stay with the listener is that voice. Sing to me some more, Seth. Just sing to me. Ooh yeah.
Seth Glier plays with Rachael Sage at Eddie’s Attic, February 22.