Tuesday, July 15, 2014
REVIEW: Reigning Sound - Shattered
The album opens with "North Cackalacky Girl", a rocking number with organ trills and guitar solos, Cartwright's gritty and velvet tenor and a driving beat. The following "Never Coming Home" (stream below) emerges as one of the standout tracks, the upbeat melody carrying a story of a clear eyed view of a failed relationship. The Reigning Sound soul revue kicks into high gear with the glorious "Falling Rain" (stream below). Soulful, nuanced ballads "If You Gotta Leave" and "Once More" hold tracks four and six, respectively. Those ballads sandwich one of my favorite tracks -- the forward-pushing '60s garage rock nugget "You Did Wrong", which to my ears plays like a lost early Zombies demo. But for me, the best soul rocker on the album is "My My" (stream below), which makes me want to go for a drive with the windows down and the stereo turned up (thank you, Merge, for not releasing this album in the winter). And to give props when due, the bass player absolutely earned his share on this song. I think that the best of the ballads is track eight, "Starting New", as it showcases Cartwright's ability to deliver a note-perfect '70s slow burning soul song. "Baby, It's Too Late" is rousing soul rock. "In My Dreams" is an atmospheric, organ-driven, mid-tempo blues song. Shattered closes with "I'm Trying (To Be the Man You Need"), an absolutely delicious soul ballad.
As news of this album trickles out, I expect that it will garner a lot of praise. That praise will be well deserved, and you deserve this album. Check it out.
Shattered was recorded at the Daptone studio in Brooklyn. It is out now via Merge Records.
Merge Records page for Reigning Sound