The Nelson family is definitely one of the most creative – and productive – families in the country genre. Despite I drive Flyctory.com just since some three years, I already reviewed three albums of Willie Nelson (see my List of All Media Reviews). As I skipped his 2020 album Naked Garden, this posting is “just” my second review of Willie’s son Lukas. Together with his band Promise Of The Real Lukas Nelson will be released A Few Stars Apart on 11th June 2021.
Lukas Nelson – About The Artist
Lukas Nelson was born on 25th December 1988 in Austin, Texas. He grew up in Maui, Hawaii. His first stage appearances have been in teenage years as part of his father’s band. His debut EP was the June 2009 Brando’s Paradise Sessions in 2009. In late 2010, his solo debut album Promise of The Real has been published. The first album by Lukas Nelson, which had major success, was the 2017 album Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, which climbed up to the second spot of the US Country charts. Thereafter, Turn Off The News (Build a Garden) (2019) and Naked Garden (2020) had slightly less success. A Few Stars Apart is Lukas Nelson’s seventh studio album. Apart from his solo projects, Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real also collaborated in two Neil Young albums, which also brought him to major stadium tours in Germany.
Lukas Nelson & PoTR – A Few Stars Apart – Track by Track
The eleven song album lasts 37 minutes.
1. We’ll Be Alright
The album opens with its longest track. Lukas Nelson and his band feel to want to cool us down, make us listen to the lyrics in this first stage of the eleven song travel through A Few Stars Apart. The song is very positive and optimistic, though – as you also see in the chorus:
And we’ll be alright
If we can hang on
Our love will guide us
To where we belong
2. Perennial Bloom (Back To You)
After this quiet overture of the album, Perrennial Bloom (Back To You) almost feels like a classic rock track. The song is very energetic and is driven by present guitar work. The key single release before the album is catching and one of the best songs of the album.
3. Throwin’ Away Your Love
Already after three songs, I had the feeling: Lukas Nelson is doing really good again. Like in many works, songs are driven by three that key characteristics. First of all, there are great lyrics and the lovely way Nelson is telling stories. These are embedded in good and suitable compositions. A big factor why I love listening to Lukas Nelson song is his characteristic voice as well. Throwin’ Away Your Love is one example for this musical strength.
4. A Few Stars Apart
The title track of the album is located on the fourth spot of the album. The song is rather slow and is supporting the intimate atmosphere with some quite traditional music instruments only. Very limited, but magical atmosphere.
5. No Reason
I can’t find
No good reason why
I wouldn’t want you in my life,
I can’t find no good reason why
No Reason is one of the Lukas Nelson songs, which I just enjoy to listen to. There is no really complex plot. The song with its easy melody and the strange rhythmic background sounds during the verses almost feels kind of naive to me. But the more you listen to the song, the more you get how good it is in fact. Really nice one.
6. Leave ‘em Behind
You’re gonna waste your house and home
Throwin’ your money away, so long
Goodbye to the love you think you know
Gamblin’ woman, don’t let your love run
Dry your eyes, my baby love,
If you really love yourself you gotta leave ‘em behind
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real chose Leave ’em Behind as one of two single releases before the album. The song is melodically as rich in variety as a slow horse ride through the sheer endless plains of the Mid West – but again, it delivers its message. Not my favorite track, but a good one.
7. Wildest Dreams
Wildest Dreams has more more rock attitude again than the songs before. It reminds me of some Tom Petty recordings. I love(d) Tom Petty – and I still love Lukas Nelson and his music.
8. Giving You Away
Well, you’ve grown so much
And now it’s time to fly
And I know I got to realize
You’re no longer mine
I’m givin’ you away
But I’m never gonna let you go
The eighth song is a beautiful ballad, which again majorly works with piano and rhythmic elements. Here and there, some guitar chords are popping up. Beautiful.
9. Hand Me A Light
Walk through my door
You find me alone
With a hand on the whiskey
And a hand on the phone
That’s the way the ninth song of the album is incepting. A bit of melancholic and heavy – but metaphoric. The chorus of the song almost feels like a church song or a kid’s song – it is so easy and light compared to the heavy verses.
10. More Than We Can Handle
The buoyant scrumming of the guitar just has to make you move, I guess. Again, a song about love. Nice song, even though some others might just feel more present.
What’s better than finishing off an album with a Smile? This one is a piano ballad, which is during its length also having some very cheesy moments. Not my favorite kind of farewell. But Lukas Nelson is just the emotional kind of guy.
Lukas Nelson & PoTR – A Few Stars Apart – Spotify
Here is A Few Stars Apart on Spotify:
Lukas Nelson & PoTR – A Few Stars Apart – My View
Lukas Nelson is a great storyteller, a good songwriter. Promise of The Real are an amazing band. Could something go wrong with this album? There was a low potential for that. A Few Stars Apart is a good listen, even though it would be a great one if its creators would have dared to try out more, do more surprising stuff. A Few Stars Apart is in the comfort zone of a very talented bunch of people.
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