Title - 'The Loneliness In Me'
Artist - Rachel Brooke
For those not in the know, Rachel Brooke returns on The Loneliness In Me, her newest solo album with a sound reminiscent of Nashville’s golden era with a decidedly twenty-first century sensibility.
The twelve songs are meditations on the wild strangeness of loss: losing love and the familiar, as well as old selves, direction, and dreams.
Since her last solo effort, A Killer’s Dream (2012), Brooke weathered the watershed of losing her father, from whom she learned her love of music, and worked on collaborative projects with Modern Mal (The Misanthrope Family Album, 2017) and Lonesome Wyatt (Bad Omen, 2015).
Indeed, this brand new collection has the beauty and charm of a shape-shifter: part classic country songwriting, anchored in the tradition of Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, part post-millennium mysticism, echoing forth from the Northern Michigan woods about the why and wherefores of where she’s been.
1. 'It Ain't Over 'Til You're Crying'
2. 'Great Mistake'
3. 'The Hard Way'
4. 'The Loneliness In Me'
5. 'Picture On The Wall'
6. 'It Won't Be Long'
7. 'Ghost Of You'
8. 'The Lovelle Stockade Blues'
9. 'Lucky And Alone'
10. 'The Awful Parts Of Me'
11. 'Undecided Love'
12. 'I Miss It Like It's Gone'
Recorded in Traverse City, Michigan with a hell of a lot of Detroit in its heart, the album opens with the delicate reverb vocal ballad 'It Ain't Over 'Til You're Crying' and back rubs that with the mid-tempo foot-tapper 'Great Mistake,' the yearning hardships of 'The Hard Way,' and then both the upbeat and barnstorming vibe of the title track, The Loneliness In Me,' and the piano-led, gentle hipsway of 'Picture On The Wall.'
We then get one of my own personal favorites, the mellow bluegrass imminence of 'It Won't Be Long,' which is followed by the beautifully languishing 'Ghost Of You,' the mid-tempo step, hip, dip, move of 'The Lovelle Stockade Blues', and then the lonesome ballad 'Lucky And Alone.'
This thematically exquisite album then rounds out with the low slung, western plains ambiance of 'The Awful Parts Of Me,' the tender, yet strong of heart 'Undecided Love,' closing on the languishing lament of 'I Miss It Like It's Gone.'
Chock full of sly-eyed humor and wry phrasing that is second nature to Brooke, given her experience as a girl playing bluegrass with her father, as with previous releases, Brooke’s accompaniment includes a trove of talented musicians, many of whom she feels lucky to count amongst her kith and kin.
A stellar new addition is Detroit’s legendary Dave Feeny on pedal steel, giving this album a direct lineage to Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose, on which he also performs his magic on pedal steel.
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