Classic Rock - - Albums - Mark Beau­mont

Lau­rel Canyon love­li­ness on a back‑to‑basics sixth.

Per­haps, as it al­ways sounded, time stands still in Lau­rel Canyon, but the place cer­tainly failed to go out of fash­ion. A new gen­er­a­tion of plush boho alt. coun­try stars like Fa­ther John Misty and Jonathan Wil­son are keep­ing its dusky spark alive and Dawes are among the scene’s more re­spect­ful pro­po­nents of the CSN&Y shim­mer.

This sixth al­bum re­neges on the funk­some elec­tronic prom­ise of 2016’s We’re All Gonna Die and, with Wil­son at the slid­ers, re­turns to their folkrock roots, with the odd stray left­over. Opener Liv­ing In The Fu­ture laces some lum­ber­ing blues rock with a cho­rus of sil­very synths while Feed The

Fire and the lus­cious Mis­takes Should Have Been Made echo the 80s FM haze of The War On Drugs or the more top-down bits of The Killers.

Oth­er­wise Pass­words is full of lus­trous folk, as on My Great­est In­ven­tion and I Can’t Love, with the odd in­nocu­ous AOR mo­ment (Te­le­scope), though there’s hid­den bite.

Tay­lor Gold­smith’s early edge may have given way to a gen­tler acous­tic touch and grannyfriendly vo­cals – at times you’d think Cliff Richard has gone coun­try – but his words can veer from the love­struck or hope­less to the cut­ting and caus­tic. ‘I will do your in­ter­view… give you some­thing to read into in a mil­lion dif­fer­ent ways,’ Gold­smith snipes at the press on the sump­tu­ous Crack The Case, ‘a game we thought we had all out­grown but still ev­ery­body plays’.

Clearly been get­ting me­dia train­ing from Mr Till­man, then…

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