Profile Weathered Ivan Cardinal feels like sitting on a back stoop somewhere watching the light appear and travel the sky and slowly fade away. But it is more than a day. It is a shadowy and luminous journey through many seasons condensed into forty minutes. The album's tracks arcs a reflective and introspective landscape; an intimate look at the struggle of battling the tide of oneself and the outside world. It is a confession of weakness, recognition of futility, all rimmed by a declaration of triumph. Minneapolis songwriter James Waller, in collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Jon King, is Weathered Ivan. Each track on Cardinal is a chapter. Each chapter is a conversation someone is having with themselves and the listener is standing in the hallway unbeknownst, witness to the overt meditation. Tracks WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE is a slow, steady, numbing tromp that attempts the impossible escape from oneself. The chorus is a wispy interlude breaking the dark stride, floating like a leaf that near the end of the song spirals intensely; finally resting on the unresolved question of "what do you believe?" THESE WALLS lumbers through a sterile and dark landscape. Percussion like distant thunder rattles as a cello weaves a haunted curtain that drapes the composition in muted light. The resonant whispered vocals plea with the listener to not deny the social inequities existing within the lies broadcasted to the masses. The song ends with the sounds of a child's music box; subtle reminder that the world of possibility is not gone but has been covered by the ash of fires burning. LOVE WE NEED takes a bright departure from the previous tracks, a jilted high-stepping montage of guitar and horns. The instrumental rays of light are during the verses juxtaposed by the story of a tired and defeated self, moving into a chorus of clarity begging to see the 'love we need'. The steady pace of the song feels like someone trying and trying again the same things over in an attempt to reach lucidity, when a commitment to honesty and love is the true antidote to any pain. SOMEDAY is the smoke blown from the mouth of a man with a handlebar moustache, who smiles and beckons to you to see what's behind a stained velvet curtain. The mildly abrasive swing styling, along with a suspicious organ under lay, sends the message that the truth is not evident and cannot manifest itself in anything. The gravely vocals warns the listener of the imminent dumbing down and homogenizing of society. Someday we will all be the same, or someday we'll break free if we can learn to open our eyes. BE HERE TONIGHT rolls in and out like sparkling waves smoothing the edge of a rock. The crisp bright cymbals shuffle the seconds along as the guitar melody lolls gently in the background, punctuated occasionally by light-filtered crystalline rays of piano and organ. The chorus roars in with an admittance of love like a long drawn shade torn from a window. SUN'S LAST RISE is an epic composition of concession. A reflection on the struggles emerging from within and those that push down from the outside. An ominous and dreamy backdrop of guitar and organ provides scenery of lost recesses of the mind. The placid vocals create an assured mixture of acceptance and victory; the song ending with the feeling of being tucked in to bed - peaceful, but never knowing if you'll wake. WHEN'S MY TIME GONNA COME is a determined rock 'n roll song with a punchy backbeat. It moves like a spoked wheel on an asphalt road, propelled round and round by the guitar lines, flashing light and shadow. A slightly twangy track questioning when one will get what's deserved framed in a dusty, yellowish 8mm film-like hue. RAINY NIGHT is red velvet. It is a rose petal brushed across a bruised neck. A lonely, sultry ballad that wanders through basement bars and rain soaked streets. The saxophone plays call and answer to the lamented crooning of a jilted promise of love. It is a wish, a prayer, a confession written with blood on a silk veil. LET THE FIRE BURN is a slow motion high speed chase across a mile long lift bridge at night. The siren sound of the guitar trails blue in the distance as the chase towards another heart takes place. The whispered vocals of the verses are the words of an outlaw, all chances will be taken; the methodic backbeat - the words of a man with nothing to lose. The chorus softly erupts in an illumination of the dark corners of the world, the bridge rising just in time to leave the blue lights behind and the headlights free to seek what it desires. MANUFACTURED METAL is propelled down the line between two chords on the acoustic guitar, the snare drum stamping down the beat. It is the monotonous work of life. The punching in and out of the good and the bad and the perseverance evidenced in the act of putting one foot in front of the other. Electric piano vibrates in the background like sunlight poking through a canopy of trees, only the yellow leaves breaking the plane of vision. With a sudden turn of the head towards a beautiful bird cutting through the light and the shadows, the drone is broken and the listener is released.