Now here is one you may have missed, Impossible Spaces is an album that very much so got caught up in the fray of 2011. With records like Whokill, Hurry Up We’re Dreaming, and Paralax, the odds were stacked against one Sandro Perri. But its 2013 now and in hindsight nothing can stay lost forever, especially something as immediately rewarding as Impossible Spaces. The first word that comes to mind when thinking about Sandro Perri’s music is easy-going, but saying the word and writing it down here it almost doesn’t feel right. It feels like too much work went into this music to call it easy-going, and giving it that moniker is somehow a short sell. Impossible Spaces is masterfully crafted, no doubt about it.
I remember thinking there was always something different about my parents generation of music. Above all else my parents were into names. And what always struck me about their music was that when I went out and discovered it for myself I didn’t find names, it was bands that won the day. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, nearly anything with a The in front of it. Now I have grown, or at least I pretend to have, and I guess Im starting to get it, and Sandro Perri is a big part of that. Where my parents had their John Hiatt and their Jackson Brown, I’ve got my Cass McCombs, my Dan Bejar, and yes, my Sandro Perri. Sure there are acts like Bob Dylan and Neil Young and Tom Waits, but they belong to everyone, with acts like Sandro Perri there is some sense of exclusivity, and as silly as that sounds it makes a difference.
Tropical? Maybe, but not entirely. Interestingly enough, of all the reasons why I wouldn’t call Impossible Spaces tropical is because of the song Wolfman. Can you just imagine what hell it would be to have all that hair and be trapped under the sun like that? Instead the sound that I would most equate to Perri’s is that of JJ Cale. Cale was of course master of the classic slow hand guitar playing that made Eric Clapton’s career a thing, but its not a perfect match with Perri. While Naturally, Cale’s opus, takes its sweet time reaching its versus, Impossible Spaces is rather well paced. Even though there are only seven songs on the record, it’s only a thirty minute album and the short play time lends itself really well to easy accessible listeing. Again, the track Wolfman for example runs longer than nine minutes, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way. And while a nine minute song would seem to drag on anywhere else, Perri makes it shine.
There is something subtly great about Impossible Spaces. The lyrics are really very good, good in a way that is strangely unique. Like in the album opener, Perri croons, “or is it changes/could be changes/maybe we change?” Its so simple, but it works really well in the context of the song. In fact all of the lyrics feel very well groomed, its not like any of them are particularly profound, you just get the sense that Perri put a heck of a lot of time into making sure they all sound good with the music. And they do. On top of that the music is very well balanced too. Flutes, guitars, electronic sounds that mimic dove noises; the record is a bit of a hodgepodge of different sounds and instrumentation. But it all works, shining proof that if you put a lot of effort into making a record, or into making anything for that matter, that it will turn out okay.