Smooth, smooth sounds of summer?
Opening with the lines ‘I was an angry young man’ this album attempts to wrongfoot listeners with its sentiments whilst delivering a shimmering, melodic, slowly building ballad tinged with melancholy. By the time the strings come in you are just expecting the kitchen sink to hove into view, and everything about the album has been laid out track one. Steel guitars, harmonies, plangent piano… you name it, it must be in here somewhere. And so the album continues in this vein.
Rutledge has a knack with a melody which provides the base on which his tremulous vocals sit gently atop. There are vague changes of pace but the sense is of an album made for a mood rather than a narrative. All the songs slowly, imperceptibly, gently coalesce into a somewhat bland, blancmange of musical middle-of-the-roadism. And given its title, this is perhaps exactly what was aimed for. Very easy-listening, so easy in fact, that it is really just hearing noises in the background. This hits its target but perhaps doesn’t understand the unspoken law of easy-listening. True easy-listening classics are earworms that can be enjoyed for not only the melody but the admiration of the construction. Think The Carpenters, Bacharach and David et al. Killer songwriters creating and defining a form. ‘Something Easy’ is well-constructed but very bland.