My new album Still Breaking Bad is now out. Follow the links to download and stream.
Even a casual listen to this 42-minute, 11 song collection offers us something we don’t see or hear much anymore: the fine work of a stellar story song crafter.
The evolution of the tracks on this album gives the listener a variety of music genres while maintaining strong production values, consistent vocals, and lyrical prowess reminiscent of songwriters such as Lightfoot and Kristofferson. The mix and mastering are a sonic magnum opus.
This is musical time travel back to the 70s, so the vinyl LP will sound wonderful and give the listener a taste of listening to music on a record player, which is becoming somewhat of a newfound lost art.
A range of subject matter that includes a big vocal production, a Bon Jovi style country rocker, Lightfoot inspired story songs, a sophisticated ballad awash with beautifully arranged strings and pedal steel and of course a couple of pure two stepping country toe tappers makes this a truly engaging musical experience. The following is a review of the tracks using five-star ratings and musical critiques.
1. (A LOVESONG) FOR YOU. Five stars. Modern cool. Really love the intro, tasty work with nice touches on dobro. All the vocals are well placed with lots of space. The tune builds to crescendo in the first chorus with rich harmonies, big soundscape, and pop inspired instrumentation. Apparently, the unmastered YouTube video has had lots of attention prior to album release.
2. BREAKING BAD. Three stars. Obviously, this is the title track. It has more of a traditional country vibe, like a storybook of two well lived lives that overstayed their welcome. The theme is for all of us who look back at the borrowed time of youth when we were on top, raising hell in the prime of our lives. Strong vocals and nice touches on guitar with that twang groove. For the young, you’re looking at your future.
3. HURTS SO BAD. Three stars. An old school, quasi-rocker with a bit of a country twist. It has a Bruce Springsteen/Bon Jovi feel with that pop rock groove, hard driving percussion, big guitar, and boss bass. Really dug the guitar weaving its way through the last chorus.
4. THE WORLD CALLED HIM GEORGE. Five stars. This song could have been the theme for the George Jones and Tammy Wynette miniseries. True country, with tasty acoustic guitar and mandolin touches. The pedal steel is killer, knocked out of the park and the country fiddle is right in the pocket. Great female back up vocals that complement LPT’s performance. Some nice lyric lines like “At the bottom of a bottle where the devil wouldn’t let him go dry.” With over 50,000 YouTube views, it’s obviously a fan favorite and one that should be cut as a tribute to George Jones by a Nashville star.
5. BEST THING IN MY LIFE. Two stars. Folksy country with real retro 70s feel. Love the vocals but maybe too much going on in this one instrument wise, making it very busy in competition with the vocals. Very pretty tune overall.
6. I LOVE THE SOUND OF A TRAIN. Five stars. Love the acapella Soggy Bottom Boys intro. This song was produced by LPTs brother, Ted Tosoff, back in 2015 and remixed for this project. It’s probably the catchiest of them all with a toe tapping vibe, great vocals and a sweet story that rolls along like an old freight train. The fiddle and mandolin are the star of the show, keeping this great tune right on track.
7. I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE. Four stars. A classic ballad with a truly insightful story line and hook that is iconic for so many challenging relationships. The Lightfoot, Pee Wee Charles pedal steel lines in the quiet spot just before “wings to set you free,” is inspired. The bass and percussion are friends on this one holding it all together. The unique chromatic key changes are genius. Great song.
8. A WHALERS TALE. Three stars. This one draws the listener in right off the top with a big intro and punching bass. Some clever humour with the Moby Dick twist near the end of this epic song. It covers all the aspects of top-drawer folksy songwriting, well crafted and top-notch vocals. Tasty guitar production.
9. YOUR SIDE OF THE BED. Three stars. A straight ahead two step country song with a modern twist. Nice steel and fiddle work.
10. THE COAL GLEN MINE DISASTER. Four stars. In the wheelhouse of Gordon Lightfoot’s Edmund Fitzgerald, this 5-1/2-minute song is based on a true story that documents the 1923 mining disaster, the worst in North Carolina’s history. It has a mysterious feel thanks to the awesome weaving of pedal steel throughout that should keep listeners captivated. A folksy bit of songwriting but with a big sound thanks to the raw guitars and compelling drum fills. Stellar lyric writing such as, “48 hours and a thousand men strong, toiled like the devil but all hope was gone.” Great song.
11. ENDLESS HIGHWAY. Five stars. The closing track is probably the best of the lot and is a philosophical lesson that we all eventually learn as travellers on life’s highway. So much to like, great vocals, big bass, well placed punchy percussion, well played pedal steel and guitar lines.
The Music Maven has over 30 years in radio promotion and contribution to the music industry.