New West Records
I Dark tales, country wit, cowboy rock and roots and musical growth
Canadian roots-country singer-songwriter, Corb Lund, teamed up with producer Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, Beck) to create THINGS THAT CAN’T BE UNDONE on New West Records – his most diverse and accomplished album to date. Corb worked, once again, with his longtime band, the Hurtin’ Albatans, but the THINGS THAT CAN’T BE UNDONE team created some wonderful new dynamics in this release from psychedelic to 90s rock sounds. The changes are subtle though, and work to complement Corb’s down-to-earth country, roots style – matching the individual narratives in each track.
“I would like to think it’s a healthy balance of pushing our stylistic boundaries and pushing our audience’s ears, but keeping it familiar enough so that they’re not totally alienated,” Lund has said of the new sounds he explored with the Hurtin’ Albatans. “I think I’ve trained them by now to expect different things.”
The release is his first new studio album in three years. Reflecting personal tragedies that the singer has recently endured, Corb has embraced a darker, more thoughtful song-writing style, with themes of lost chances and loves. The stories are told cleverly and with wit, making them both honest and easily accessible by a wider audience. Perhaps even those who do not typically enjoy country will be drawn to Corb Lund’s conversational tales of heartbreak and loss.
The album opens with Corb’s silky, natural vocal style on The Weight Of The Gun, a Country tale of a shamed son but with a soulful and nostalgic musicality. Lund describes the song as a “Louis L’Amour style western tale crossed with Motown.” Run This Town is romantic and uplifting, and brought to another level with Corb’s conversational writing style – ‘The novel that I’m reading has a character a lot like yours.’ There’s more country soul from Gorgeous Alice Eyes, a song about the sense of renewal that comes from being loved by a good woman, and the pain you feel when you lose her – a classic country theme and a timeless sound. Sadr City shows us some of the more adventurous sounds explored and has a psychedelic, trippy sound to it. The song describes the Siege of Sadr City, the first clear example of sectarian violence in Iraq after the end of US involvement. The track continues Lund’s tradition of military songs following 2007’s HORSE SOLDIER! HORSE SOLDIER! The unexpected musicality is perfectly suited however, and quite dreamlike and reflective when combined with the lyrics.
S Lazy H has an atmospheric, folk sound. In this tale of lost youth you can almost see the Canadian ranch that Corb grew up on. Talk Too Much is a stand out track amongst many fantastic songs. It has a bold, masculine rhythm – you just have to dance to this one. Lund uses a 60s rock ‘n’ roll coolness to tell a cautionary tale of aggressive characters who have to much to say, the type of people who in reality have very little to say at all. THINGS THAT CAN’T BE UNDONE closes with the beautiful Sunbeam, a song written for Corb Lund’s niece who he recently lost. Elegant, loving and heartbreaking, it is reminiscent of classic country love song, You Are My Sunshine. Charlotte Taylor www.corblund.com