By Jeremy Frost
Posted September 12, 2016
I’ve been away for a while. I went to China, got set up in a horrible job teaching out there, had to have four surgeries on my leg not long after I returned, and then went travelling up the coast to Maine and back for a month. With no real internet access in China, and only sporadic WIFI on my trip to Maine I haven’t been able to get any albums reviewed. After all of that (I’ll spare everyone the crazy stories from my hiatus), I sat down this morning trying to find something different. Most of the albums I looked at had that standard packaged “Nashville sound” that I really wasn’t in the mood for.
Then, I came across this one. The name “Ode to Thinking,” stood apart from the rest. I opened it up, took a look at the song titles and almost discarded this one as well (I had just gone through almost 20 albums, and was getting sick and tired of manufactured music). Some of the titles just seemed to say to me same old, same old. I’m glad I hit play.
Instantly I realized it was the “something different” I’d been searching for. Ode to Thinking, the title track, opens up with a nice acoustic that is truly complemented by the vocals. His poetic lyrics right away grasp my ears where my mind can only think of the majestic songwriting of Bob Dylan.
Cold Hearted Lover of Mine caught me off guard. Long’s raspy vocals and the beautiful melody I didn’t expect from its title. Instead of a rough spiteful song, it transfers into a ballad of longing, loss, and tearful remembrance. I’m Not Going out Tonight picks up the pace with a ghoulish guitar and bass sound placing you beneath a blood red moon dancing around a bonfire howling in harmony with the pack.
If the previous song had you dancing in madness in the night, Treat Me Like a Stranger, is that next morning waking up with the smoke spewing off the embers at first sunrise. The oil painting of tents standing, covered in dew, bodies beginning to stir from where they fell on the grass, leftover beer cans some half full, some crushed, and a lone bird chirping at the dawn of new life.
Read full review here...