Picture it: Late morning, you're kicking back on a mocha-colored couch, wireless connection running at high speed, picking over a wrinkled copy of The Nation, freshly (but not overly) juiced from the day's first cup. You pause after a report on Third World outsourcing and glance at the world restlessly passing by on the other side of the plate-glass window. In this bright blip of awareness, you absorb a strain of Snyder's corduroy voice glowing over an accessibly literate verse like "I got everything that I hoped for, nothing that I planned/Put time inside a test tube, drank karma from a can." It's kind of a perfect, synchronous moment; you're drawn into the setting and the song and Snyder's impeccably strummed acoustic guitar and it all produces the kind of mellowed stimulation you'll never get pounding Budweisers in a dim, noisy bar.
Thankfully, Snyder has forgone the corporate route and instead become a fixture the house blend, if you will at the Chocolate Moose, Davie's most beloved java hut. Songs like "Déjà Vu" here featuring upbeat, soft-handed backup percussion the long lament of "Colors," and, of course, the incisive, bittersweet observation of "Coffee Shop" have attracted rapt audiences in the live setting. On Pages, Snyder's voice loses a bit of its performance immediacy, but his lyrics emerge front and center, and his guitar technique is in full bloom. Pages proves that acoustic folk may too often get filtered out, but it'll never go cold. (shawnsnydermusic.com.)