It’s been a long time coming for this, the second effort from Syd. The Norwich native spent much of 2005 in the studio, only to shelve the work last autumn. Rescued by producer Danny Weinkauf (Fountains of Wayne, They Might Be Giants) and freshly mixed by Jeff Thall, “The Way We Found It” is a pointed departure from the bright pop of 2004’s “Fault Lines.” The ironic disc opener, “All Time High,” as well as “It Was You,” are shaded with a melancholy missing from the first disc.
While challenging, this mood also makes for a better-rounded overall effort. The songwriting is probing and mature, and the experience of supporting musicians, drummer Sam Smith and guitarist Dylan Allen, shows through.
It’s a daring balancing act at times; “Still Life” manages to be both buoyant and dour. The disc’s best track, the richly textured “Far Away” suggests Syd was taking cues from Elliot Smith instead of Jack Johnson this time around. The song’s coda – “distance will make you forget me/I hope distance will make you forget me” – reveals the romantic loss that permeates much of the record.
Other highlights include the soaring “You Said” and “Sail The Sea,” a pretty cover of friend Gregory Douglass’s song.