Do you know this year so far has been a blinder in terms of new releases we’ve only just left February and tipped into March and there have already been any number of contenders for Album of the year, this baby included, and judging by the number of pre-orders I’ve got pending there are going to be a fair few more.
This LP as I slip it onto the virtual deck instantly washes over you drawing you in to a gorgeous blend of Classic Americana, while holding on to a punk driven perspective, and that jarring of styles, so difficult to get right is what singles this Lp out as something a bit special.
If you’re a Springsteen fan, think back to the classic Darkness on the edge of town, The River, Nebraska period a songwriter redefining, honing in his style, very much as Rich has within the songs on this LP, embracing influences while building on his own style, (think if Bruce Springsteen did punk rock) moving to a beat that’s beginning to fully form, if you think Tom Petty, the Aforementioned Bruce Springsteen, hinting at Steve Earle but also dragging in Jesse Malin and some of the raw blues tinges of Lucinda Williams. This is a real step up from the Role Models a shift in focus embracing the past but moving into a future of real creativity.
Looking at the tracks stand outs for me “Til I’m on my feet again” hits hard with a huge sense of drive , desire and urgency reaching out to the future that’s not coming quick enough. Next up the searing, soul searching “The end of all things”. Not to say the prior tracks are weak tracks truth be told there isn’t a weak track on the LP.
“Forever Ghosts” and “Pretty Breeze” to me perfectly illustrate the light and shade within this baby play them back to back and you’ll see what I mean, So what do we have?
Contender for LP of the year? Definitely
A songwriter strengthening his style, embracing change? Absolutely
The LP that breaks outwards from the scene opening the music up to whole new audiences? Defiantly!!!
Do yourself a favour Buy, download, treat yourself to the t-Shirt, be one of the cool kids and more importantly support the artist.
Author: Nev Brooks