Review Summary: An album that displays an incredible understanding of songwriting.
From the opening notes of the piano in After Afterall, to the closing sentiments of Goodmorning, Fitzsimmons allows the emotion behind his music shine through. With his first studio recorded album, and third overall, William Fitzsimmons puts forth yet another incredibly strong record. The Sparrow & The Crow is filled with Fitzsimmons' multi-instrument talents, incredible songwriting, and emotion filled lullaby like vocals. It's as soft and beautiful as anything Fitzsimmons has done, and yet it carries a certain weight throughout the entire album.
I often find myself listen to certain albums when I'm in certain moods, as I'm sure most people do. While I was initially drawn to this album on a relaxing afternoon, I've come to find that I can listen to it at any time and it will PUT me in the mood to continue listening. Everything about this album is appealing, and it draws you in almost instantly.
Fitzsimmons style is soft, emotional, and simple. I can't say that it's completely unique, because many singer-songwriters follow a similar formula. However, Fitzsimmons seems to have an understanding, a mastery, of how to make it work better than most performers. His soft croon carries incredible melody throughout the record, and despite being soft and smooth, remains the focal point of the album. It's obvious that Fitzsimmons values the songwriting and story telling more than anything, as the restraint and simplicity of his instruments really allows his songwriting ability to shine.
Whether it's the simple snare patterns, beautiful male and female vocal delivery, or restrained (yet very noteworthy) melody held by guitar, banjo, and paino, this album is an incredibly enjoyable listen. Whatever instrument is being played, it complements the vocal delivery well. While it remains just a complement for the most part, the instrumental work still leaves the listener with a great respect for Fitzsimmons' playing.
What we have is an incredibly gifted songwriter, a very talented musician, and a very moving piece of music. With this album, William Fitzsimmons should cement himself in the upper ranks of modern songwriters. Despite many people following a similar approach to their music, Fitzsimmons performs in a way that makes him instantly recognizable. His understanding of how to write emotional and moving music will keep this album in my rotation for a long time.