AWARD-winning veteran guitarist Jeff Lang’s new album is haunting and lyrical, full of poignancy and loss.
Lang has used his trademark mix of folk, rock and blues to produce a brace of acoustic-electric songs that are melodic and powerful. He has honed his skills on 15 studio albums (including collaborations), a slew of live albums and years of touring in countries as diverse as China and the US.
Even the screeching feedback on Waiting For The Headlights Through the Blinds is in context. The album benefits also from some fine backing by past collaborators, bassist Grant Cummerford, drummer Danny McKenna and percussionist Greg Sheehan.
There’s pathos woven through this album and the imagery is often compelling. The jaunty folk of opening track Watch Me Go disguises the fact that it’s about the fear generated by a back-alley robbery and the lively, up-tempo I Want to Run But My Legs Won’t Stand is about a bad night on the turps. Petra Goes to the Movies is a sad narrative of lost love, while This City’s Not Your Hometown Any More will resonate with anybody who has returned home after an extended absence:
“The buses are still running but the numbers have all changed/The High Street’s still here but the shops are all strange/And the hands are on the wheel steering through a landscape you once adored”.
The liquid ambience of the evocative and beautiful Standing on the Shore is one of the highlights, but there are basically no weak tracks among the 11 offerings on an album that will further enhance Lang’s already strong reputation as a songwriter.
The album closes aptly to the desolate strains of a lone trumpet on The Promise of New Year’s Eve.