All the Bright Coins by Simone Felice [8/10]

Hear the plaintive, wise voice of Simone Felice in the opening song, “Year Around the Sun,” sing “What does it mean to be a child, It means you’re lost out here in the wild,” and maybe, just maybe, you’ll weep like I did. “All the Bright Coins,” Felice’s new release, is strummed, sung, or spoken magic, the essence of this hugely talented songwriter pared down to the essentials. The album is evidently a passage through his early years, a hardscrabble indie troubadour reincarnating, and the songs are wispy, elegiac trips into a character’s thoughts. This is not the impassioned, thumping Felice Brothers but a record so quiet it may escape notice but what a tragedy that would be! Check out the spoken poetry over piano of “The World’s Fair”; the oh-so-sad reflections (“drag your sorrows on the road”) amidst the stately background of “Puppet”; and the ode to hope “in our hour of trial and pain” on the simple “After the Rain.” Introspective and strangely demanding, All the Bright Coins is a keeper.

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