The Natural World: Lyric Driven Songs of the Borderlands
Michael Lewis 001
With his wife Denise Wilson, Lewis is one half of the singer-songwriter duo Traveler’s Dream. They’ve been on the road for 11 years and have four albums to their credit. The Natural World is Lewis’s debut as a solo artist, a deeply felt collection of original tunes with a feel that harks back to the folk/pop sound of the ‘70s. He contributes bouzouki, mandolin, piano, and acoustic guitar to the tracks and sings them with a restrained passion that instantly draws you in to the emotional landscape the songs inhabit. The melodies here are subtler than the music Lewis writes for Traveler’s Dream, most with a melancholy feel that really tugs the heartstrings. The lyrics are just as touching as the melodies, poetic meditations full of telling insights and heartfelt sentiment. Love songs like “Morning Glory,” “It’s a Hard Life,” and “Into the Fields I Go” combine images drawn from the worlds of nature and emotion to praise the course of a long-term relationship with a bittersweet aura that makes them sound achingly true. His songs about life’s difficulties are just as poignant. “Every Ray of Sunlight” and “Let Go the Dark” deal with life’s hard lessons with lyrics that eschew the usual drama and hyperbole in favor of a more realistic look at the responsibilities we all have to face up to in our everyday life. Lewis’s vocals throughout are a wonder of restraint, but all the more powerful because of it.
— j. poet