Title - 'Ode' [Vinyl LP]
Artist - Bobby Long
For those not in the know, although that should be a small circle of people, Bobby Long is a British singer-songwriter, whose largely acoustic body of work has its roots in folk. Born in Wigan, Greater Manchester, England, he moved at the age of four to Calne, Wiltshire, where he grew up, though he still holds deep roots in Wigan.
Having released a couple of albums and an EP since his debut in 2009 with the self-released Dirty Pond Songs, his third full-length album is out now on Compass Records. Featuring six tracks from his August 2015 release, ODE TO THINKING, along with three previously-unreleased tracks from the ODE TO THINKING recording sessions, this highly prolific songwriter - who has been compared to his own heroes such as Elliott Smith, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan - now brings us the best of his musical bunch.
The first track introduces us to the album perfectly - unless you start it on 45rpm, like I did, and then all Hell breaks musically loose! The title track, 'Ode To Thinking' is just that, as once-fond memories, wrong avenues explored all come forth in full on storytelling mode. 'I'm Not Going Out Tonight' is a fun, vibrant track that fairly bounces off the record playing vinyl, before the stunningly poignant ballad, 'Treat Me Like A Stranger' ("Second time around treat me like a stranger, and then you won't recognize me"). Side A of this brilliant new vinyl LP is then rounded out by both the heartfelt 'Something Blue, Something Borrowed' and the stoic, hauntingly melodic 'The Dark Won't Get Darker' come along.
Side B kicks off on an upbeat foot with the popesque 'Pretty Little Pennies,' a song that quickly becames one of my favorite cuts on this brilliant new album. A confident vocal performance combined with a catchy guitar hook all comes together delightfully and that is followed by the toweringly anthemic 'If You Don't Want To Be With Me.' The last two songs on the album are tight also. The first is 'From Me,' a rocker of a story that tells the tale of a long lost love, once seen, forever lost in a market place in a city square. The latter '1985' (his year of birth), tones the album down and out as it makes its way through us and off the turntable. A beautifully stoic piano, subtle drum, and gentle guitar duet, Long's vocals resonate with just a tinge of reverb that there are moments where you truly wonder if a tear is in his eye as he reflects.
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk
Vinyl LP Purchase Link