True Nature – You Shouldn’t Have to Shout So Loud (2013)

True Nature couldn’t have picked a more appropriate title for its new EP, even if the group — led by Lou Barlow — doesn’t start off taking its own advice.

The opening title track, in fact, rattles along with a heartfelt fury, before settling into a ruminative finale that hints at something deeper than its initial college-rock radio groove. “Only Love” stirs in a few mid-period U2 atmospherics, to good effect. But with “One Soul,” You Shouldn’t Have to Shout So Loud makes good on the latent promise of the EP’s best moments so far — that is to say, its quieter moments.

When Barlow — who studied theory and composition at New York University — moves into these trembly emotional places, he reveals something far more personal, something unique, about his songcraft. “My Freedom” splits the difference, allowing Barlow to explore a ruminative lyric amid a more aggressive, mid-tempo cadence. You’re hearing someone find his voice with every passing verse.

Joined in the studio here by an all-star cast including drummer Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors), guitarist Gerry Leonard (David Bowie) and bassist Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson), Barlow closes this new EP with “New Father,” a striking bearing of his soul — and one that underscores not only what makes You Shouldn’t Have to Shout So Loud work, but everything that should make Barlow a breakout star one day.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has also explored music for publications like USA Today, Gannett News Service, All About Jazz and Popdose for nearly 30 years. Honored as newspaper columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section that was named Top 10 in the nation by the AP in 2006. Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.