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.

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Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.