Solo mis­sion a suc­cess

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Music - JAR­RAD BE­VAN

IT WAS Blue is a song un­like any An­gus Stone has penned be­fore.

Hid­den to­wards the back of his sec­ond solo al­bum, It Was Blue car­ries gen­uine men­ace.

Its murky, sin­is­ter at­mos­phere and shadow- dwelling in­ten­sity feel like the mo­ment in a David Lynch film where the sus­pense has built to a peak and is on the verge of break­ing.

It also feels like he is chan­nelling Iggy Pop. What on earth is go­ing on here? Hon­estly, it’s worth check­ing that Stone even wrote this one as the de­liv­ery is so very far from what he has given us in the past.

He al­most growls: ‘‘ I don’t need you now/ Never needed you be­fore/ In my head.’’ One song, worth the price of the ad­mis­sion all by it­self.

Of course, the polar op­po­site can be found here, too.

Light, cutesy tunes like Be What You Be or The Wolf & The But­ler are just so quiet and unas­sum­ing – and a lit­tle dull.

Stone is far more in­ter­est­ing when he lets the blues and roots side of his per­sona shine brighter than the folk side.

Twice he man­ages a smart Neil Young im­per­son­ation. Only a Woman and Bird on the Buf­falo ef­fort­lessly slide some lively elec­tric gui­tar grunt into his usual pal­ette with sen­sa­tional re­sults.

There’s also some Bob Dy­lan- like vo­cal de­liv­er­ies and Fleet­wood Mac- es­que melodies scat­tered throughout the al­bum.

It’s pretty hard to find faults in in­flu­ences as top qual­ity as these.

A fresh and vi­brant col­lec­tion of in­stru­ments make this al­bum more than just an­other guy- plus- a- gui­tar strum- fest.

The fid­dles, vi­o­lin and man­dolin lift River Love with an en­ergy verg­ing on rau­cous ( for him), while the flute solo on coun­try- blues out­ing The Blue Door is a wel­come sur­prise.

Wooden Chair is a prime ex­am­ple of his bound­aries shift­ing.

It could have eas­ily been a face­less folk song like any other but the in­clu­sion of a whis­tle melody, some ex­cited woops and hand claps give the song much- needed panache.

Be warned, the lilt­ing melodies on the ti­tle track will get stuck in your brain.

‘‘ Shake them, let me lust tonight/ We’ll grow young, make me feel all right.’’

Bro­ken Brights is ex­actly as chilled out and re­laxed as you’d imag­ine.

Chuck it on the stereo and it’s near im­pos­si­ble not to imag­ine starry skies, roar­ing camp­fires and wide, open spa­ces.

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