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Arlo McKinley (from the album This Mess We’re In available on Oh Boy! Records/Thirty Tigers) (by Bryant Liggett)
There’s nothing wrong with slow and sad. Those are two adjectives that when used in a musical descriptor that could turn people away, people that may think they need upbeat and happy to feel something from a song. Somber is a great way to convey heart and soul, and to back up lyrics that describe a heart on a sleeve, no matter what condition said heart is in. Arlo McKinley does the slow and sad thing very well, his latest in This Mess We’re In delivering those emotions in a wrapped-up package of tunes with tears, doing a lot with a little in what’s a majority a musically minimalist offering.
A sad fiddle floats over quiet guitar in album opener “I Don’t Mind”, a tune where Arlo McKinley laments what was, singing ‘I never thought that would be someone that breaks your heart’. “Back Home” has quiet Country piano where Arlo sings of the simplicities of things in the glorious home, and he drops a beautiful ballad in the piano heavy title track.
Much of the music is stripped down, save for the Blues jam of “To Die For” and “Rushintherug”, two cuts where Arlo McKinley and band drop songs that are bursting at the seams, opposite of the aforementioned ‘minimalist’. This Mess We’re In is a record of big emotion; sadness doesn’t rule but it does hold court as at first listen you get the dramatic vibe. Music should make you feel something, and Arlo McKinley makes dang sure his tunes move something in addition to a tapping toe.
Listen and buy the music of Arlo McKinley from AMAZON
For more information and purchase options, please visit the Arlo McKinley website
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