22 Songs, 1 Hour 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Invisible Hour is a graceful examination of marriage “as a verb, not a noun,” as Joe Henry writes in the liner notes. His focus is the commitment required to sustain a relationship rather than the fleeting romance that usually gets it started. He’s more concerned with compromises, sacrifices, and other less glamorous aspects of love, and his words are tender, witty, and wise. He’s always been a strong lyricist, and he’s in top form here. Befitting the songs' personal and introspective focus, the arrangements are sparse and acoustic with nothing wasted or unnecessary. His core studio band of Jay Bellerose on drums, Greg Leisz on guitar and mandolin, and his son Levon Henry on reeds perform brilliantly. They surround these patient and poetic ballads with tasteful guitar passages, clarinet trills, and light percussion. Between producing work for a diverse group of major artists, Henry has steadily created a remarkable run of solo albums over the past 25 years. Invisible Hand, his 13th release, belongs near the top of the list.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Invisible Hour is a graceful examination of marriage “as a verb, not a noun,” as Joe Henry writes in the liner notes. His focus is the commitment required to sustain a relationship rather than the fleeting romance that usually gets it started. He’s more concerned with compromises, sacrifices, and other less glamorous aspects of love, and his words are tender, witty, and wise. He’s always been a strong lyricist, and he’s in top form here. Befitting the songs' personal and introspective focus, the arrangements are sparse and acoustic with nothing wasted or unnecessary. His core studio band of Jay Bellerose on drums, Greg Leisz on guitar and mandolin, and his son Levon Henry on reeds perform brilliantly. They surround these patient and poetic ballads with tasteful guitar passages, clarinet trills, and light percussion. Between producing work for a diverse group of major artists, Henry has steadily created a remarkable run of solo albums over the past 25 years. Invisible Hand, his 13th release, belongs near the top of the list.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
23 Ratings
23 Ratings
Anonmom ,

Wow

Big thanks to KCRW, public radio Santa Monica/Los Angeles for playing a cut off the album this morning. It was one of those rare pull over the car to launch shazam moments -I just couldn't wait until I reached my office to look up the programming playlist online, I had to know immediately who was playing.

I'm not impressed by the pedigree of an artist, what impresses me and draws me in is the quality and depth of their work.
What you'll find here are beautiful lyrics, rich guitars, hints of Dylan, The Band, a troubadour telling a story, with music and lyrics that support each other with a delicate yet sure match.

I've learned I'm coming to this party late, with nearly a dozen albums to his credit, but surely, better late than never -Hey, Thank You Joe.

tomdrums ,

Masterpiece

My favorite thing about this album, is that the listener gets to hear these brilliant heartfelt pieces with the soulful playing of the musicians in the studio in contrast to the stripped down yet still poignant guitar and vocals tracks. It’s almost like a humble nod and testament to the greatness of the players that Joe brings to the studio. A special recognition is due to the tasteful drumming of Jay Bellerose.

Twangboy4 ,

Joe just doesn't stop....

Great record on my first listen through. Joe's in great voice...relaxed and strong. The acoustic instrumental backing recalls, in tone and drive, his early Americana records (Shuffletown, criminally out of print, and Short Man's Room), with his son Levon's reed work recalling Van Morrison's best folky work, or the Band's horn section. It's like he's found a record that offers a moment where Joe's past work and his present eclecticism find strong partnership.

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