While his role on The X-Files will always been the first line of his obituary, David Duchovny has a quite wide artistic arc, which expands past his acting work to directing, writing, and music. He even once took a multi-year hiatus from acting to focus on music & writing. Third album Gestureland sees him embrace his relaxed maturity.
Distinctly in the singer/songwriter mode, Gestureland sees Duchovny in the looking back, around, and occasionally forward. Opener/single “Nights Are Harder These Days” (QRO review) sets the tone very well, a resign that also has just the right amount of an unhappy edge. The album does better when Duchovny goes wider in view, managing to get to hearts in the political “Layin’ on the Tracks” (QRO review), or the definite truth behind the very “Cats In the Cradle” ‘father-of-growing-up-and-away-son’ “Call Me When You Land”. And given how enjoyable the cheery gallop of “Mind of Winter” and the relaxed drive down “Pacific Coast Highway” are, one does wish a bit for a higher number of upbeat tracks.
For fans who have been watching Duchovny on-screen since the nineties, hearing Fox Mulder sing might take a bit getting used to (note: the closest the album gets to aliens is closer “Sea of Tranquility” using the Moon as a metaphor), but his guitar work is more like his directing & writing, less ‘famous person’ baggage lets him do it well. So, just relax and enjoy Gestureland.