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Grant-Lee Phillips: An Ode To Optimism

"Strangest Thing," from Grant-Lee Phillips' recent Little Moon, is the aural equivalent of the brilliant burst of radiant colors that so often follows a deluge. A vibrant, jubilant celebration of hope and optimism, it's enough to lift listeners out of the everyday and into the realm of possibility.

Phillips knows how to radiate hope in quotable, genuinely inspirational ways that steer clear of mawkishness: "Strangest thing / Days I feel like dirt and then I see the diamond dust on everything," he sings, later marveling in "the way that hope can hide itself behind the walls of anything." A simple and stirring ode to optimism — "I don't feel sad when Cash wears black / I hear the train coming" — "Strangest Thing" is four minutes of forward, upward, glorious momentum.

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Barbara Mitchell