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Gentle Spirit (Bonus Track Version)

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iTunes Review

The long-awaited follow-up to his first release finds Jonathan Wilson sounding like he’s lived a lifetime of experience in the four years between albums. Since his 2007 debut, Wilson has worked with Elvis Costello, Erykah Badu, Robbie Robertson, Roy Harper, and Jackson Browne. Credited for bringing new life into the vintage “Laurel Canyon sound,” Wilson makes no attempt to deviate from his love for those classic rootsy tones—he even recorded Gentle Spirit at a studio in the actual Los Angeles canyon. The title track opens with hushed piano, as crisp acoustic arpeggios pluck around slowly pulsing Mellotron notes. Then Wilson comes in, singing softly in his high register with a weary, sleep-deprived-sounding voice that recalls Doom Trilogy–era Neil Young. The humorously titled “Can We Even Party Today” follows; its strumming sounds like Young’s “Tell Me Why,” but Wilson’s double-tracked vocals fall closer to the inflections of troubled troubadour Dennis Wilson (no relation). “Desert Raven” braids cosmic American twang into wistful dream pop, creating a beautifully organic psychedelia.

Customer Reviews

What an album...

If you are interested in music for times when you wish to think about music or for times when you wish not, this album, as I have found, suits all occassions and really makes you forget where you're going and remember where you've been. I particularly like the tracks "The Way I Feel", "Don't Give Your Heart To A Rambler" and "Rolling Universe". Without hesitation, I strongly recommend this album for anyone who still cares about quality music and can admire meaning and craft in a song.


This album has a dreamy, lazy, 70's country-rock vibe and never really veers from that grid. Call it homage, call it whatever...JW has laid out a delightful set of tracks with mellow underpinnings that keep you listening. A headphone delight, to be certain...there is a well crafted subtlety here that soothes beyond its station. I think people hand out 5 stars way too easily on iTunes, but I don't believe 4 stars overstates the quality within. And the samples are mostly true to the tone of what you listen up and you won't be surprised.


This album is a minor classic. Brilliant songwriting.


Born: December 30, 1974 in Forest City, NC

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Jonathan Wilson was born in the mid-'70s, but his music most clearly recalls an era whose heyday came a few years before he came into the world; the deep but gentle vibe of his songs is an echo of the Laurel Canyon mellow rock scene of the late '60s and early '70s, and it's no surprise that he found a home in the very same section of California years after the fact. Wilson was born in Forest City, North Carolina on December 30, 1974. He grew up surrounded by music: his grandfather was a preacher...
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