You cannot call Johnny Lang prolific but every release is top quality and this, his first since 2013, is no different. This album has the feel of one that is going to be a constant companion for a long time to come.
Lang is a master of the passionate whether it be Blues or soul or gospel and the album is absolutely loaded with it. He seems to be delving deeper into the Blues this time out and the package of his soulful vocals, searing guitar and hammerblow drums makes the album a rollercoaster - by the end you feel quite exhausted but in a good way.
He kicks off with ‘Make It Move’, stripped back to just vocals and acoustic – tough and angry as he tells himself that you cannot wait for things to be done, do it yourself. Says Lang himself “There have been times in my life where I thought something would take care of itself, when I should have put some effort forth to help it happen. Being proactive has been a weak spot for me, and the song is about doing your part to get things moving.”
That is followed by a dirty and funky riff on ‘Snakes’ with the passion in his vocals plain for all to hear. His lead guitar is brilliant and you can clearly hear that he is rediscovering his playing chops. ‘Last Man Standing’ tears out of the gates like there is no tomorrow and the title track just oozes with a sinuous riff and faltering groove.
His soul groove definitely shows itself on ‘Stronger Together’, his voice higher and in more of an R&B range while ‘Bringing Me Back Home’ is a lovely ballad, very much close to the heart and deeply emotive. So far every track comes over as one that will come over great live and with twenty year experience in the business he should be able to deliver them but there is also a sense of freedom about his playing and singing that I haven’t heard from him for a while.
The album is superb, everything we have come to expect of Johnny Lang over the years.