An album that deserves stronger vocals for the stories it tells.
The Lucky Ones’ self-titled debut album partners bluegrass and string band music with detailed stories about Canada’s Far North, Yukon in fact, the territory made famous by the Klondike Gold Rush. The music here is music that members of the band heard as they grew up, passed from generation to generation and now to us.
‘Snowflakes in the Sun’ is a bouncy track that offers tight harmonies and is sure to get you up and dancing with some excellent finger-picking solos. The lead singer’s voice here though doesn’t give that same feeling, and you want him to offer more excitement in the track. Although the song isn’t the happiest topic, the voice is a bit too dreary for the upbeat sound that accompanies the topic.
The LP tells stories about things that actually happened to members of the band, and that includes ‘Waitin’ On a Paycheque’, a song which band member Ryan West wrote after a long day of painting houses. The reality of the stories is a very nice touch and makes each song feel very intimate, but the vocal strength is again lacking.
The fact that ‘Everybody Dance’ was written by JD McCallen and his then two-year-old daughter is an equally nice touch, but the lyricism isn’t quite there again. On the other hand, ‘Since The Farm Got Sold’ shows that the band has great potential. It’s a foot-stomping track that shows off the musicianship of the band as well as the best vocals of the album.
Overall the album is not ready to set the world alight. A stronger vocalist is needed across the LP, and despite the fact that the stories across the whole album are nice and personal, the lyrics in each seem lazy and aren’t quite good enough to compete with those they aspire to be compared to. ‘Drunken Goodnight’ is a great way to end the album, and if The Lucky Ones can focus on this going forward, their next album will undoubtedly improve.