Honest and original Americana from Lucero. Simply a must listen and already a top 10 contender for 2021.
Not a great deal of good has come out of the last 12 months, life has slowed down and the world has near enough stopped for a lot of us; however Lucero keep rolling on down the tracks with their 10th full length release ‘When You Found Me’. Memphis record producer Matt Ross Spang takes the reigns for his second Lucero album at Sam Phillips Recording Studio. As generally happens when a band evolves throughout the years, Lucero search for a new string to their bow and move towards building more of an atmospheric, 3D soundscape for this release, incorporating synths into their armoury lead by long time member, keyboardist, Rick Steff.
The band set the tone early on with the ambient and climactic ‘Have You Lost Your Way?’, before driving full speed ahead into the anthemic ‘Outrun the Moon‘ which is written from the perspective of an ambitious young girl, with the world in front of her. Frontman, Ben Nichols had in the not so recent past taken the plunge into family life becoming a husband and a father to a daughter and these opening tracks really document that change into his life.
Things slow down for a minute and we really get to hear the Lucero of old, in sorts, with ‘Coffin Nails’ and then the spacey and synth-driven ‘Hold Me Close Don’t Let Go‘, the title influenced by words spoken to Nichols by his daughter. The fiery rocker ‘Good as Gone’ keeps things varied with a big sing-along chorus and big wide open verses accentuated by choppy piano lines.
‘All My Life‘ is a love letter written to Nichols’ wife and daughter, Nichols’ aggressively bellows “All my life, you’re all I was looking for’ accompanied by distorted guitar lines and inconspicuous piano lines. ‘Back in Ohio’ keeps the tempo up with fast tempo’d and thumping drums and chuggy overdriven guitars and a great saxophone solo that comes out of nowhere and is a welcomed surprise. ‘When You Found Me’ perfectly bookends the album with a completely different outlook than the opening track titled ‘Have You Lost Your Way’. Again written to his wife and daughter Nichols wears his heart on his sleeve with this melancholic yet uplifting album closer that leaves you wondering what is next for Nichols.
This is all in all a wonderful release from Lucero. Pushing themselves out of the box and their comfort zones and branching out into a whole new realm of Americana. This is a welcomed change for Lucero’s usual sound and really keeps things interesting for the listener. ‘When You Found Me‘ has some beautiful originality within it that you simply don’t find within a lot of music nowadays. Nichols and the Lucero guys have simply created a stunner.