Howard’s newly released album Together Alone begins the way any new relationship does: uncertainly, softly, but undeniably boldly.
It begins to test the waters, first toeing the temperature, and then hurling itself in. It becomes feverish, submerging itself in strong vocals, thumping drums, electronic beats.
It gains confidence, consistency. It finds its groove, and its groove is good.
It turns tender, poignant. It becomes reflective and contemplative. It gives itself over to us, exposes its mind, its heart, its soul.
It finds a sort of contentedness in it all, a sweet acceptance of what has been, and what may come.
It gains force, and ferocity. It trades tender vocals and soothing sounds for a boldness previously unheard.
It gives us the sweetness of the saxophone, the fleeting bliss and the smoothness of it all.
It reveals the first sign of trouble in paradise, as it croons “don’t doubt it.” It reveals its slowly emerging insecurities.
It reveals the regret, steadily bubbling to the surface. It reveals the sense of defeat, the sense of desires unfulfilled.
It is haunting, sorrowful. It turns its sorrow into anger, its defeat into revenge.
It accepts what it has become, relinquishing itself from the past.
And miraculously, it becomes better through it all. It has been been loved, it has been scarred, it has been defeated. But it has created something new, something wiser.
The tender bliss, the haunting doubt, the intense ecstasy, the reluctant acceptance, the joy in spite of it all… “and that’s how it all unfolds.”