evaluate: Lucero’s sound displays polish of 20-yr journey

by using Scott Stroud | AP August 8 at 2:03 PM

Lucero, "among the Ghosts" (Liberty & Lament/Thirty Tigers)

Lucero has put out first rate statistics earlier than, but for some thing purpose — geography, confusion over style, an absence of cognizance from the individuals who decide what receives heard — the Memphis-based quintet has in no way attained the stage of stardom it doubtless deserves.

With "among the many Ghosts," its ninth studio album, a best below-the-radar rock 'n' roll band keeps getting better. Its songs are more suitable-crafted, its lyrics and taking part in are more mature, and the rough-hewn sound that was always charming however hardly transcendent is nearly as good as it has ever been.

long past are the piano and guitar licks that occasionally sounded too plenty like Bruce Springsteen, though he continues to be an obvious affect. gone, too, are the petulant lyrics that from time to time stood between singer-songwriter Ben Nichols and greatness (a undeniable love tune to his guitar involves intellect).

of their place are gritty meditations on homesickness, poignant storytelling developed around a Civil conflict soldier's letter home, and honest, heartfelt love songs.

Nichols' maturity is obvious, though he's as susceptible as ever. within the title cut, he pines from the highway for his wife and child girl, singing wistfully that "the first be aware she discovered to claim became goodbye."

The band's taking part in rises to the problem such intimate lyrics pose. Rick Steff's piano is much less derivative, a greater subtle complement to the gritty guitar enjoying that nevertheless drives the band's sound.

The impact is more refined without losing the rawness that at all times gave Lucero its aspect — which might just make this the band's most fulfilling album yet.

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