Tree of Life

It’s a rare thing to produce an album on which every song is as good—or even better—than the others, but this is such an album. Patrick Coman wrote all but one song, Leon Russell’s “Magic Mirror,” which is imbued with a sense of sadness that pops up on a few other selections, starting with the quiet melancholy of the first song, “Heartbeat.” Played at a funereal tempo that’s accented by the rhythmic pulsating of the bass drum, he asks the question: “Can’t you hear the heartbeat of a desperate man when he knows his time has come to an end?” Not all is doom and gloom as the pace picks up with an animated account of his woes on “Trouble #2.” Set to a solid beat, courtesy of drummer Marco Giovino (who’s spot-on throughout), it’s a folksy tale about a rabbit who escapes a hound dog who then starts closing in on him. Accompanied by guitarist/producer Peter Parcek throughout, Coman asks another big question: “How do I keep my soul when I’m losing my mind?”