We are now entering into 'Legend' territory here, and this is by no means an understatement. With ten studio albums already under their belt, Lambchop may have felt apprehensive when it came to writing their latest offering "Mr. M." With Kurt Wagner being a man of poignancy, we were eager as to what insight this great man has gained since 2008's "OH (Ohio)".
Starting the proceedings, a small ensemble of warm strings ease us in, with soft rolling drums, recalling the "swooning crooner" style so popular in the 50's. Think Sinatra, think a large leather bound seat, a double brandy on the rocks and the finest Cuban cigar. The soft, slurring piano reiterates that this is, the thinking man's album, one in which to ponder life's meanings at the end of a long eventful week. Kurt Wagner has a gentleness about his voice, but far from naive. His pace dictates wisdom, imploring you to listen and take note. He is not far removed from Cat Stevens, vocally and so discerning it's bordering on heart wrenching. Moving through onto the second track, we revert back to Nashville territory. Doubled vocals add extra warmth and simplicity. Poignant citings are gently filtered through, "Sound's like we're making the same thing" Kurt notions. This album is filled with melancholic observations. These, like Shakespeare shall we say, can be ripped to pieces, finding subtext where there quite clearly, was not meant to be any. The meaning can be as clear as the words on the page. What Kurt seems to be doing throughout this album, is letting you take meaning, as his reflections are of a universal nature. The song "Mr Met" is filled with such aforementioned remarks ... "God made us rational...friends make you sensitive...". These, on paper could come across as wishy washy nonsense. At the end of the day however, they are plain truth, life facts that no one seems to dwell on anymore. He knows what makes us human, and how to make us feel human again. The continuation throughout this LP gives you more reason to hone deeper into each track. Awash with soft strings, gentle plucks on the acoustic, soothing keys, female woos and at times, mellow brass all hug you into a full sense of security. There are only short moments of woe flecked in, utilised by the strings. Rare that this may be, it is only at the beginning of a couple of songs, and in truth, it doesn't feel like this is meant to bring you down in any way. It feels more like they are giving you time to reflect in bitterweet realisation, before the warmth swoons in once more. They don't make music like this anymore. Well, when we say "they", we mean, everybody else. Lambchop have never adorned to set any trends, and by doing so, have entered themselves into a field all of their own. Beautiful words to beautiful music. If this album had arms it would give you a hug. Below is their first video from the album titled "Gone Tomorrow" directed by the highly accomplished director Zack Spiger. There's also a free download of this track. Simply click on the link to claim musical delight. Lambchop will be touring certain U.K. venues which are : 01.03. UK - London , Barbican 03.03. IRL - Dublin , Vicar´s Street 04.03. UK - Gateshead , Sage 05.03. UK - Glasgow , Oran Mor 06.03. UK - Manchester , Cathedral 07.03. UK - Bristol , Fleece