The Skinny: If you like Patty Griffin, you will not be disappointed by Impossible Dream. This is another batch of tender contemporary folk music, packed with her soulful, introspective ballads.
Sounds like: Emmylou Harris, Buddy & Julie Miller, Lyle Lovett, Gillian Welch, Sufjan Stevens
Deeper Thoughts: Patty Griffin could sing the Encyclopedia Britannica and it would make me sad; she simply has melancholy vibrating in her vocal chords. “Useless Desires” creates a nice dynamic tension between the lyric, which captures a sense of loss and leaving, and the sunny mid-tempo folk rhythm featuring brushes and fiddle. The poetic imagery of “Kite Song” is mournful with a gleam of hope, featuring an atmospheric organ track and Patty’s simple piano figure. Love the trumpet and tuba on “Rowing Song,” as Patty strums a gentle rhythm. “Top of the World” centers around the line “I think I broke the wings off that little songbird.” Oof… If I ever met Ms. Griffin, I’m pretty sure I would crumple into her arms and weep uncontrollably.
The Sonics: There are a lot of organic sounds on this recording. The mixes are subtle and tender. There is ample space and air around Patty’s delicate yet powerful vocals. The disc renders all this in rich, understated detail. I found the lossy stream a bit unsatisfying and was much happier with the sound of the disc. I have a subtle, understated vintage hifi rig and I really enjoyed the acoustic bass sounds and the close-miked acoustic guitar. A little sub really makes this record engaging.