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Inclusions

Ben Sollee
TIN EAR

Since his much admired 2008 release, Learning to Bend, Ben Sollee has found himself in favorable musical partnerships with fellow Kentuckians Daniel Martin Moore and Jim James, and has fortified his political voice with the “Ditch the Van Tour.” With Inclusions, Sollee takes the next step in his career, plunging deeper into his exploration of themes dear to his heart. Yet another innovative and brilliant mishmash of folk, jazz, soul and bluegrass, it also displays Sollee’s maturity. To borrow a line from his song “Hurting,” Someone has taken the boy from your face/traded your eyes for those who have seen. Sollee seems to have experienced a bit of this transformation over the past three years, as he has raised awareness on many afflictions that torment Appalachia. Pieces of these subjects emerge in songs like “Bible Belt” and the gorgeous “Cluttered Mind.” This album, like Learning to Bend, leads listeners to an introspective, almost meditative state at times, while sinking into Sollee’s beautiful blends of modern folk.