Closer to the Flame

Closer to the Flame

by Joel KroekerJoel Kroeker


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Following in a line that seems to fall somewhere between the roots rock of bands like Wilco and Blue Rodeo and singer/songwriters like Ron Sexsmith and Danny Michel, Canadian musician Joel Kroeker hits the ground running with the strong and tight "Against Myself" that has ample bite and verve. After this ear candy nugget, which also brings to mind Kathleen Edwards, the artist shifts gears with the mid-tempo but equally pleasing "King of Hearts" although this one isn't quite as straightforward; it still reeks of the smart, highbrow pop à la XTC or Crowded House. With a delivery that slightly similar to Sexsmith's, Kroeker keeps the momentum going with the shuffling, groove-tinged title track that is criminally, sinfully rich in melody. At the same time, he can also show his softer, folksier side, as he does on the simpler, tender and thoughtful "The Good Stuff," that he pulls off without a trace of effort. A bit more of a stretch is the soulful, slower "Sacred Heart" that finds Kroeker sounding like a cross between Ricky Nelson and Tom Brosseau. However, this feel is a double-edged sword with the deliberate, Coldplay-like building of "Remember the Song," which takes a bit longer to warm up to. This format is revisited to a certain extent during "Nothing But the Stars" that is bombastic but fortunately not quite over-the-top. Perhaps the black sheep on the album has to be "Hymn Number One" which is aptly titled. Here the solemn approach is strong but not quite as hair-raising. Another gem is the downbeat and simplistic "At the Drive In" that demonstrates Kroeker's ability to turn a phrase in a very economical way. The same can be said for the gorgeous "These Quiet Streets." On the whole, Closer to the Flame is an extremely well-rounded and stellar effort.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/13/2007
Label: True North
UPC: 0620638046524
catalogNumber: 465
Rank: 153889

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Joel Kroeker   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Strings,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,12-string Guitar,Toy Piano
Cross   Drums
Kathryn Rose   Background Vocals
Kevin Breit   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Kevin Fox   Cello
Adrienne McKenzie   Background Vocals
Denis Keldie   Organ,chamberlain,Wurlitzer,Prophet 5,Leslie Pedal
Mark Duggan   Tambourine,Vibes,Shaker
Amoy Levy   Background Vocals
Ciceal Levy   Background Vocals
Craig McCaul   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Marc Rogers   Bass

Technical Credits

Jeremy Darby   Engineer
Danny Greenspoon   Producer
Carol Bergeron   Engineer
Dany Bedar   Composer,Engineer
Joel Kroeker   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Engineer,String Arrangements,Art Direction
Wayne A. Hoecherl   Computer Editing
Michel Gionet   Engineer

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