By Barry Gilbert
Of the Post-Dispatch


November 4, 2004

Anders Parker
"Tell It to the Dust"
Baryon Records

Former Vernaline songwriter and frontman Anders Parker steps out for his first official solo album, a work full of alternately moody, atmospheric and rocking music.

With help from old friend Jay Farrar and a number of former bandmates, Parker offers a dozen well-crafted tunes dealing with growth and change, loss and escape, and ultimately hope, set to mostly midtempo music that ranges from stripped-down piano and harmonica to propulsive, Crazy Horse-style guitar rock.

Parker sings of balance in the up-tempo title song: "I know it's dust to dust/I know it all will fade/I know it's built to rust/And that it all will change/So say the things you want to do/And go as far as you can go/'Cause all I could ever see/was the miles laid in front of me."

Standout tracks include "Goodbye Friend" with its jangly guitars, "So It Goes" with its Nick Lowe vibe, the stark piano-backed "Innocents" and the propulsive "Into the Sun" ("If they don't find us years from now/It doesn't matter because we made it out/We're up on the sun").

Parker adds a little humor to the Beatle-y "Come on Now" ("You know I got a dirty mind/Full of rocks and full of weeds/Broken glass and crazy dreams, oh yeah") and closes the CD with the raucous "Doornails (Hats Off to Buster Keaton)."

"Tell It to the Dust" isn't a CD that will find its way onto a playlist for parties, although several tracks would fit nicely on a rock mix CD. It's meant for quieter times and, after a while, you'll want to share.