Undress by The Felice Brothers [8/10]

In their live shows, The Felice Brothers unspool their dual-singer folk-rock with flamboyant ramshackle joy, but their albums vary in intensity. “Undress” is the band at its peak, it’s sound veering from massed instruments and voices to more intimate tunes filigreed by precise guitar or lovely piano or squeezebox. The dozen songs mix political targeting and personal poems and singalongs. The overall effect intoxicates, you find yourself breathless for the next offering. I could name ten highlights but here are three: the title track begins as a humorous ode to “lightening up” before fat horns join the mix to climax at a plea to “find the light of day”; the corrosive jaunty “Special Announcement” in which Ian sings of “savin’ up my money to be president”; “Socrates,” a soaring hymn to modernity’s discontents. But wait, how can I convey the poetry of “Days of the Years,” Ian’s ode to the moment, each line threatening to raise tears! Buy this now and if you can, catch a live show.

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