Despite 18 albums on Red House, Greg Brown has operated largely under the radar, a wonder in itself, given his lyrical genius.

Despite 18 albums on Red House, Greg Brown has operated largely under the radar, a wonder in itself, given his lyrical genius. Milk of the Moon is an understated affair, drawing stark contrast between subtle acoustic instrumentation and Brown's husky growl. A master of mood, his "Lull It By" has a feel of uneasy repose, while "A Little Excited" is a good-natured shuffle; he romances with "Milk of the Moon," and "Smell of Coffee" challenges all the senses. No folky pantywaist, Brown thumps with insinuating fuzztone authority on "Let Me Be Your Gigolo," hovers threateningly on "The Moon Is Nearly Full," and simmers on "Mud." He showcases a strong sense of melody and feeling on "Ashamed of Our Love," steady rhythm on "Steady Love," and wisdom with "Telling Stories." On "Stories", Brown says of a lover, "Never saw anything so beautiful or so ordinary," and therein lies his brilliance: he makes the ordinary beautiful.—RW

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