Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Album Review: Anders Osborne- Peace

Anders Osborne
** out of *****

Anders Osborne is a music lifer. He has written Grammy nominated songs for others, as well as constantly toured with a variety of acts. His last 2 albums (American Patchwork and Black Eyed Galaxy) have been explorations of thumping rock and song writing, mixing some psychedelia with introspective lyrics of personal growth. Peace stays in this same vein but things are starting to feel stale.

Musically the album stays in the Crazy Horse-Light realm with repetitive riffs and stomps as Osborne sings lyrics straight out of a journal. The title track has some potential opening things but never really goes anywhere over its almost 7 minute run time (after 45 seconds of feedback to start things). Anders has never shied away from his past struggles with addiction and sobriety and that is admirable. Those topics get a lot of play here on tracks like the "I'm Ready" and the tribal, rhythmic, saxophone laced "Windows". The best of this bunch may be "Let It Go" as gritty guitars and fuzzy six strings lead to an invigorating guitar dueling solo before an almost gospel release.

As a lyricist Anders doesn't beat around the bush, while direct and appropriate at times it feels plain spoken and flat. His tracks to his family also show up a few times with "Sarah Anne", "Dream Girl", and "My Son" while nice odes to his loved ones they never elevate much higher then that. A more encompassing personal tune is the mellow "Sentimental Times" which clicks and uses strings, adding depth.

There are a few missteps that weigh things down, first is "47" which ponders life at his age with the laughable line "But nothing happens/At 47". This just seems odd, awkward and probably would have been better off as an outtake or re-written. "Five Bullets" is well intended but ends up clunky with a hip-hop edge that struggles to find a line, however that distortion rings true.  

Anders is going to keep going (to 57, 67 etc) wailing on the guitar like a champ and his plain spoken writing will surely hit a few high notes. It is good to hear from the man that he is closer to Peace then ever but as an album things may need to be shaken up for maximum results.
See we just don't rubber stamp and love everything from NOLA. We do really love Anders having seen him a bunch and reviewed him in the past, this one just never stuck with us. That said, we are happy for him (more from him later this month too), we really hope to catch him around town during Jazzfest.  Christ, It can't come soon enough..more from Anders later this month here as well.

Support the artist here, buy the album here, peep some video below:

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