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The Lone Bellow (from Love Songs for Losers available on Dualtone Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Granted, a title like Love Songs for Losers doesn’t promise a very upbeat perspective, but rather a point of view that gives pessimism the most prominence. And truth be told, many of the songs The Lone Below share on this, their fifth full-length album, convey an unyielding sense of distance and despair. Yet, there’s more than a hint of promise and perseverance to be found as well, particularly when it comes to such songs as “Honey”, “Gold”, and “I’m In Love” when each take both a celebratory stance and opt for an upward glance. “Homesick” and “Caught Me Thinkin’” follow suit, offering optimism even when hope and happenstance sometimes collide.
Oddly enough, the drive and desire to escape the limitations of one’s small-town origins often bring to mind Bruce Springsteen, circa his blue-collar embodiment of “Born to Run”. Happily, then, the desperation involved is tempered more by fulfillment than frustration, and the band’s riveting arrangements take the music to a higher plateau.
Nevertheless, that’s not to dismiss the desperation and desire that’s imbued in the album overall. “Dreaming”, “Move”, “Great Divide”, “Cost of Living”, and “Wherever Your Heart Is” are preoccupied with love and longing, and the hope that reconnection and reconciliation might still be possibilities, even despite a deepening divide. In that regard, there’s a certain feeling of futility, despite the fact that the intention remains primed by perseverance. So too, the music itself is soothing and sublime, a credit to the fact that for the first time the band took on the production duties themselves, eschewing the need to employ any outsiders to oversee their efforts. To their credit then, the material comes across as both captivating and compelling, a work so beautifully enthralling, it could easily be considered their finest effort to date. Their Folkish allure and Americana instincts remain intact, but the added depth and dimension reflects their undiminished excellence and a clear continued credence. And that makes Love Songs for Losers a winning combination by every measure imaginable.
(By Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of The Lone Bellow from AMAZON
Please go to The Lone Bellow website for more purchase and artist information
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