Sally Maybury writes: Fresh from seeing Lukas Nelson + POTR at the fabulous Black Deer Festival I was keen to get my hands, and my ears, around the band’s highly-anticipated new album, ‘Sticks and Stones’, read on to find out my thoughts!
The title track to this album will have your toes tapping as it has an underlying beat that just makes the song flow from note to note, and with the gorgeous tone of Lukas’s voice, it’s a great start to a belter of an album.
One song that really got me going when I saw them at Black Deer was ‘Alcohallelujah’, it’s a real sing-a-long song, with an edgy guitar driven rhythm that will really get to your core. I particularly like the keys that every now and again echo the melody of the song. I dare you to not be singing along by at least the second chorus!
What has struck me about this album is how different each song is, but how they fit so nicely together; ‘Every time I Drink’ is a song about thinking of a loved one when drinking, but it has such a jolly melody behind it, I can’t help but smile listening to it. It’s got a real rock-n-roll feel to it, with an electrifying guitar solo thrown in for good measure.
I can’t pass this whole review by and not mention the wonderful Lainey Wilson, who features on ‘More Than Friends’, wow this lady and her voice! This duet just gets me right to the core, Nelson’s voice just marries with Lainey’s so beautifully in this song about love and intimacy.
Like a train running down the tracks ‘Ladder of Love’ powers into your ears, it’s a great midway through the album, and musically it’s amazing! It’s got this really vintage feel to it, that just hits you and if I’m honest as I sit listening to it, I’m transported to a western town somewhere with tumbleweed, and cowboys riding by! And just as the song suggests it builds musically like a ladder, key change to key change.
This is an album about love and life, and the soulful, bluesy sound of Lukas’s voice just warms your heart as you listen to his words in ‘If I didn’t Love You’. ‘Lying’ is such a beautifully simple love song, there’s no huge guitar riffs, no massive drumming. Just a voice that makes my blood warm and an acoustic picking in the background, it just goes to show that sometimes you don’t need all the big guns to make a song that really hits hard.
This album really surprised me, I started off by thinking it was a bit bland and plain, but by the end I was hooked and can’t wait to listen to it again, each song blends into the next and gives the whole album a really rich sound.
As Nelson himself said – “This album is about celebrating the human connection, joy and excitement. We went from quiet and introspective on ‘A Few Stars Apart’ to something big and fun to really showcase the band’s talent and performance. You can listen to the album Sticks and Stones from start to finish and get the songs to dance to and then the quiet, poignant songs. To me, this album is the perfect setlist”.
I couldn’t agree more!
Sticks and Stones is released this Friday (July 14) via 6ACE Records/Thirty Tigers. Available to pre-save at https://orcd.co/sticksandstones
For more information, visit www.lukasnelson.com