Album: Slows To Go
Label: Battle Worldwide Recordings
Release Date: 10/16/2015
Mike Gale has been a busy boy. Slows To Go is the third Co-pilgrim album since 2013, not to mention Gale’s two solo albums in 2015 alone. But his main effort with Co-pilgrim has made a strong showing here, one perfect for summer drives through California and beach campfires.
Co-pilgrim is pulling from many traditions and influences here, mixing and matching early R.E.M., ’60s folk like Crosby, Stills & Nash and the pristine melodies of Smiley Smile-era Beach Boys. They blend all of them quite well, and the listener can’t quite tell one influence from another. At the same time, Co-pilgrim doesn’t do anything too original here. Even though they take from the past and mash it together to form a delightfully pleasant paste, it still feels like something old, and dare I say, tired.
Even so, Slows To Go has very few boring or flagging spots on it. Many songs are quick and airy (“Echo In My Dreams,” “Sweet Murmur Of,” the title track) and some are rather ponderous (“It’s a Blue Moon,” “Don’t Go Meek Into That Night”). First side outro “Offing” even manages to be both. Co-pilgrim plays a brand of folk-pop that’s appealing and radio-ready, shown in no greater place than the warm sparkle of “You Come Over, You Go,” featuring a wonderful call-and-answer in the chorus. All in all, Slows to Go is engaging and warm without being offensive or overbearing. In the grand scheme of things, other bands have done a lot worse. It’s like a warm hug from someone who’s hugged you a thousand times before. It’s nothing new, but it still makes you feel good.
– N. Neal Paradise