Gregory Alan Isakov with the Colorado Symphony
Orchestras and pop are a tricky combination-an ensemble can overwhelm material written for a solo artist, especially when that artist trades in modest heartland tunes. But this collaborative effort from South African-born troubadour Gregory Alan Isakov avoids the peril. Gentle strings swells buoy his rich vocals on the swooning "Saint Valentine"; tender pizzicato follows the lead of his banjo on "The Stable Song"; exquisitely warm brass drives toward a triumphant emotional climax on "Amsterdam." Here, the symphony defers to the songs.