Review of The Nocturnal Adoration Society's new album All the Time in the World from Jonathan Widran
at THE JW VIBE:
NOCTURNAL ADORATION SOCIETY, All The Time In The World
A Google search for Nocturnal Adoration Society, the fascinating moniker pioneering alt-country mandolinist and singer Jimmy Ryan (Blood Oranges, Wooden Leg, Hayride) and his wife, bassist and vocalist Donna Sartanowicz chose for their fascinating musical fusion duo, turns up some fascinating info. Whatever the couple means by the name, it’s also an association of Catholics dedicated to prayer before the Eucharist for the needs of the world. Membership is easy, requiring one hour, once a month in prayer.
Since the compelling, plucky, emotionally pointed yet often whimsical and rhythmically diverse eight tracks add up only to a tidy 29 minutes, you could have a blast listening to them and still have a good half hour to contemplate (and ask the heavens) what Ryan and Sartanowicz mean when they say we have All The Time in the World. Here’s a clue.
With her tender, romantic lead vocal complemented by one of his infectious mandolin magic, the title track is a twangy and soulful, laid back expression of the great communication and storytelling that’s possible between folks when they don’t have outside distractions or agendas. Surrounding this chill mid-point of the album are more raucous jam band-y romps like the optimistic opening track “Take Me As I Am” and the tongue-in-cheek, quasi skeptical “Sweet Lies,” both of which featuring Ryan’s lead vocals and the couple’s gorgeous vocal harmonies.
Assuming that their choice of band name was based on their mutual day and night love and admiration for one another, it’s interesting that “Sweet Lies” and two other tracks – the mid-tempo, easy rockin’ “Nah Nah Nah” and the simmering and musically sensual “Straight Into Trouble” – are all about lack of honesty and problematic relationships.
And just when we’re starting to wonder about these two, they gift us with a song like “Right Time,” which reminds us that even if it’s not always the right time or the best time, when it comes to love, no matter the struggles, it can always be the time of their lives. Yet that’s the nature of even the best enduring relationships – and seemingly the point of a project that speaks so eloquently to life’s hard won wisdom and a partnership that has stood the test of time.