It is hard to define what makes beauty in music, but Jonathan Meiburg clearly has a feeling deep in his soul. This is Shearwater's fourth album, and moves the game on from their lovely Americana to somewhere much closer to a Velvet Underground/ Talking Heads/ very early Waterboys mix.
Majestic sweeps, steadily-built tension, and delicious electric fuzz, suggest that singer/ multi-instrumentalist Meiburg has completely taken the reins of the band as well as writing every song. Moving Shearwater from their Americana base is undoubtedly a good idea, as the hunger for more interesting rock such as Arcade Fire continues unabated. There is still the choral quality, the Iron and Wine folk and the seemingly loose arrangement, but Palo Santo is a remarkably cohesive rock piece, and easily Shearwater's best album.