The Memphis-origin project Lucero is a really interesting act. They created their own music and earned a lot of reputation, especially as a great act live on stage. Nonetheless, a band needs new tunes from time to time – and Lucero has also been really active in the studio, especially at their beginnings. On 29th January 2021, they will release their latest album, When You Found Me. Here is my review.
Lucero – About The Artist
Lucero is a US-American band who are combining country music with elements of punk and rock. They started in 1998 with the original members Ben Nichols, Brian Venable, Roy Berry and John C. Subblefield. All four are still active members of the band, today joined by Rick Steff. They were regarded to be “one of the hardest working bands” of that time, regarding to their wikipedia entry. In 2008, the band finally signed with Universal Music Group. In October 2009, they released their first album 1372 Overton Park under that deal. Overall, this has already been their seventh studio album, which also illustrates that the band was quite active. Though the original record deal was four-album one, the collaboration suspended with the 2009 album.
Nonetheless, the band released four more albums. Their latest one, Among the Ghosts, has been published in August 2018. It reached the second spot in the US Folk and the 18th one in the US Rock Album Charts. The American Songwriter named it among the 25 albums of the year. Regarding Spotify, their biggest song is Nights Like These. The song has originally been released on the 2002 album Tennessee and has more than three million streams.
Lucero – When You Found Me – Track by Track
The ten track album lasts 42 minutes.
1. Have You Lost Your Way
The promotion package states lead singer Ben Nichols with “I wanted a very classic rock sound for this album” – and that’s exactly how the first tunes of Have You Lost Your Way sounds like. Hard riffs, a touch of dark and an impressive, dominant voice. The longer the song lasts, the more the guitars take over the song. Great starter.
2. Outrun the Moon
Second song, first single release, five minutes, epic! I guess that’s quite a comprehensive essay about Outrun the Moon. The combination of the guitars and Nichols’ voice just rocks straight into your heart, the riffs scream their catchy melody. This track is indeed a great one.
3. Coffin Nails
Something from the dark came down
The night John Rufus died
It landed on the window sill
And there it cried all night
We could not see the shape of it
Wailing filled the air
We knew not what it looked like
But we knew why it was there
I weigh my deeds on my father’s scales
I balance them with coffin nails
Coffin Nails is the first song of the album which comes with a stronger country music touch – even though the overall atmosphere is rather depressive and dark. The song is also the first song which dominantly uses acoustic guitars instead of electric ones. Great song.
4. Pull Me Close Don’t Let Go
If Mike Oldfield would have been a die-hard rocker with a hard hat on, he would have written Pull Me Close Don’t Let Go in the 1980’s quite likely. I feel that is the best description of the aura of this fourth track, which is special by creating a very unique and impressive atmosphere.
5. Good as Gone
Hey little girl you’ve got a long way to go
It’s late in the night and the moon’s sinking low
Doesn’t matter which way you take out of town
Being good as gone ain’t good enough now
The guitar play combined with the dominant voices and the keyboards in Good as Gone so much remind me of 1980’s rock.While the predecessor was rather an atmospheric track, Lucero is more focusing on the lyrics and a story in here. Really love that.
6. All My Life
Powerful riffs and a steady, almost easy sounding melody – Lucero lovely combine the instrumental and vocal elements to a track you just have to listen to. A great love song written to Nichols’ family.
7. The Match
It’s whiskey and religion
It’s guilty as a dog
It’s the wolves outside your kitchen
It’s the fuse and the cannonball
It’s the match knocks down your wall
Don’t tell you too much about the story of The Match – but regarding the lyrics, this song is definitely one of my absolute favorites on the album. Nice country rock / Southern rock mood, as well.
8. Back in Ohio
Back in Ohio is one of the tracks with the highest potential for a lot of fun once Lucero is back on stage. Very melodic classic rock with a high sing-a-long potential. Love it!
9. A City on Fire
A City on Fire is very apocalyptic and comes with an almost threatening feeling. Indeed, this suits well to the lyrics of this track, which has a quite epic touch.
Light the sky
Ashes fall like rain
In the firelight
False fronts burn away
Smoke and cinder rise
Redemption in the flame
A city on fire
And in the fire is remade
10. When You Found Me
The album closes with the title track. The song is thematically connecting to All My Life, as it is another musical love letter. On the instrument side, there is majorly the acoustic guitar and a piano – which creates an intimate and deep sound.
Lucero – When You Found Me – Spotify
Here is When You Found Me on Spotify:
Lucero – When You Found Me – My View
Did Nichols meet his target given in the press kit and Lucero hit a classic rock sound album? Indeed he did! The album gives me so many thoughts about music I love, an era of amazing songs. Lucero does it well. There are just very minor points of weakness in this album – so I just have to call it a Top Pick! 2021 started with so many great pieces of music – this is one of them.
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