Jesse Correll

REVIEW: Jesse Correll “Inner Shibori”


Jesse Correll – Inner Shibori (Self-Released)

Jesse Correll has a new album out, Inner Shibori, which he co-produced with Anne McCue.   

Referencing the unusual title, Correll says “Shibori is a traditional Japanese dyeing technique where a pattern is made by folding and binding fabric, dyeing it, and then releasing the bind and pressure to reveal its pattern.” And as far as album titles as metaphors go, the latest from Jesse Correll is pretty appropriate. “The technique spoke to me. We endure a lifelong process of unfolding, unbinding, unstitching, and unblocking. Little by little, we see that what we thought were stains, are intricate patterns; the design of unseen hands,” Correll said.

The territory explored in the dozen plus songs that make up Inner Shibori are complicated, but above all else relatable, with many of the songs here stemming from his breakup after a seven-year romance. Listening to the surprisingly upbeat “One More Time,” (one of the best tracks here) you’d be forgiven for missing the pain in the lyrics. Except the chilling harmonies mimic the ocean breeze he references, and stand as a reminder.

”An Icy Cold” features the notable Anna Tivel on haunting guest harmonies. “Backyard Thursday” is a stripped down acoustic song in a raw, more Americana style with harmonies by Ingrid Graudins and pedal steel by Russ Pahl.  Correll’s heart is wide open on this one. 

Songs like the album opener, “Go Deeper,” “Begin Again, Again” and “Dusty Sweetness” drip with heartbreak, but there are still traces of optimism throughout the record, especially on the philosophically minded title track.  “Go Deeper” and “Begin Again, Again” openly show Correll’s jazz underpinnings. 

By the time we reach “Fetch the Water,” we hear the deepest thirst of human longing.

The album closes on “Worst of Both Worlds,” his darkest song from this collection and most personal, speaking directly to that breakup not long before they were planning on getting married.

Equal parts Rufus Wainwright and Frank Sinatra in his more brooding moments, Correll is a modern-day torch singer drawing on a variety of influences from jazz and pop to classic soul. Inner Shibori, produced by Correll and Anne McCue, is a solid follow up to 2015’s Held Momentarily and marks only his second album since taking a 15-year break from music.

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