Listening to Arbouretum's previous album, Rites of Uncovering, is akin to watching an ice cube slowly melt into a quivering puddle. Most of the songs give way to amorphous folk-rock textures. Song of the Pearl, in contrast, finds the Baltimore outfit crafting a fairly succinct set of tunes. What matters here is the composition, not the jam. A killer guitarist, songwriter Dave Heumann is also a gifted lyricist. "Another Hiding Place," for example, is an intense depiction of infidelity and dishonesty.