Fire Note Says: Lord Huron delivers a sparkling, thoughtful full-length debut with Lonesome Dreams.
Album Review: Let’s not talk about Fleet Foxes or Band of Horses, nor Crosby, Stills & Nash. Doubtless most considerations of Lord Huron’s first full-length album will be full of backward-looking and sidelong scrutinies. Instead let’s regard this album for what it plainly is: a well-balanced work of beauty and humility, focused on both the simplest things and the grand view. The album is both lush and energetic: a damn difficult bit of work.
The opening track, “Ends of the Earth,” is the first and perhaps best example of the blend Lord Huron is capable of. But following it with “Time to Run,” with its Buddy Holly rhythm and a nod to the sunny 60s California scene, you start to realize that the journey isn’t going to be an airless exercise in grandeur. The track roams, and roams well. Like a wise music producer or film director, the song explores boundaries well but the trip never goes off-course. The title song comes next, a track full of spacious vistas, a road movie feel in its ramble.
Few groups can cherry-pick the essence of past and present folk-inflected rock groups as well as Lord Huron does on this album. But the result isn’t a hollow echo—and the reason is the songwriting, which is top-notch. The band can even manage experimentation well. “Brother” runs like the hills of West Virginia have met up with something Old World or ritualistic, maybe Celtic and maybe African, and the whole thing’s deeply satisfying. Then a couple of songs later we’re treated to a spaghetti western motif—and it works just as well. There’s not a weak song on the album.
Balance, focus, scope, and humility all—a hard combination for a veteran band and even harder for relative newcomers. This is a thoroughly enjoyable, rewarding album by a band worth following in the coming years.
Key Tracks: “Ends of the Earth”, “Time to Run”, “Brother”
Artists With Similar Fire: Fleet Foxes / Band of Horses / The Avett Brothers
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-Reviewed by Alan Black (www.alanblack13.com)