13 January 2014 (released)
12 January 2014
Familiarity is comforting; it’s the place we go for security and maybe a warming hug that says everything is ok. Too much and it can lead to a rut, so now and then it’s good to get a shot in the arm. The David Liberty Band’s second album (though David Liberty’s sixth in total) tends to favour warm hugs, over .44 Magnums, but that’s not to say that this is a boring record.
Opening with Settling, its wah-wah guitar, and subtle background acoustic bring to mind good time country barndance, and sort of sets the mood for the album: catchy rhythms and melodies, and a real sense of place and belonging. Protest Song is tough and stately, sort of Neil Youngish in a bullish mood, that’s followed by Damn Butterflies, a grooving mid-paced rocker.
Romantic Declaration is a decent power-ballad that neatly takes the album into the second half. Both Head Games, and the following X and Y are pretty ordinary. Things become more promising with Come by Chance which takes a slightly darker turn. After that we are back on familiar territory, though Fifteen Minutes from Now, disconcertingly, brings Hanson’s Mmmbop to mind as the song starts up. The album closes, appropriately, with the semi-acoustic End of Story, possibly the best song on the album.
This is a good solid rock album with traces of the American south, folk, Country, and a dash of the blues. What does stand out is David Liberty’s voice, and his storytelling. His voice is huge, versatile – a three octave rang - powerful and so high in the mix that it comes close to overwhelming the songs. At times he teeters on the edge of overblown but thankfully never quite goes off. The upshot is that musically not much on this album is going to be a revelation to seasoned listeners, David Liberty’s voice will be.