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Joe Henry’s “Tiny Voices” continues to explore the dark interior spaces and disheveled soundscapes he visited on his last release, 2001’s “Scar.” Henry’s jagged, blurry lyricism has intensified over the course of his nine releases since 1986. This time out, as on “Scar,” Henry muses and meditates with imagistic lyrics set in ragged tapestries of sound. The result is a perfect match between words and music. They both aim for suggestive textures that barely resemble the neat patterns of traditional songwriting. The stories on “Tiny Voices” well up from the kind of murky subterranean space that Tom Waits inhabits, ranging from twisted prophecies to confessions of giving up on relationships and quirky contemplations on everything from gravity’s pull to dirty magazines. The musical arrangements feel like they’ve been hot-wired. Distant-thunder bass lines and boxed-in drums roll along beneath carousel keyboards, splashes of horns and brief flickers of guitar. These half-heard sounds edge along in the dark with a sincere, searching energy. Henry’s rough, straightforward singing ultimately pulls all this together and positions him as the central character in his intriguing world of innovative juxtapositions.

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