Quality over quantity. That is Lachlan Bryan and the Wildes. Lachlan Bryan is probably in the top five of Australian country music songwriters of all time. Every song is considered. He has a way of making you feel when you really don’t want to, making you think when you do want to. This is not only my opinion. As a fan, and a long standing one, I am totally biased. However, his peers and his mentors will agree. Our Lachlan has IT. He makes you cry, he makes you feel and his band are so focused and in tune with all of the rhymes and reasons of this album.
Lachlan only brings out an album every once in a while. He has so much to give, but he gives it to us in small, significant doses. Joined by his Wildes, Shaun and Damian, he can’t go wrong.
Damian has outdone himself again, building his reputation as one of our finest producers and musicians. Lachlan only releases albums now and again. I not only quite like country music, I love it. This album was perfect.
I hope that I’m Wrong (Bryan): A cool mellow way to start an album. It has a deeper message, but like most of Lachlan’s songs, they operate on two levels.
A Portrait of the Artist as A Middle Aged Man (Bryan/Cafarella): Once upon a time, there was a classic written with a similar name. Now there is a classic written by another man with a similar name.
Careless Hearts (Bryan/Draper): One of the best videos this year, together with the next track. But it is more than that. A catchy song that gets into your head and really doesn’t want to get out.
The Basics of Love (Robertson/Bryan/Cafarella) with Shanley Del and James Gillard: The first single lifted from the album and deservedly so. Featuring one of the best songs of our generation (Shanley Del) – a Kiwi who we unashamedly stole. Just an amazing video and song. Shanley’s hubby, one of my heroes, James Gillard also features on this track. An absolute winner.
Sweet Bird Of Youth (Bryan): I love it when Lachlan plays the piano. It just makes me turn to mush. He has the knack of making me pick a new best Lachlan song every album. My fave Lachlan song has me thinking of Sidney Poitier, this one has me thinking of Paul Newman. Heck, what is a girl to do? This song just makes me melt.
It Tears Me Up (Every Time You Turn Me Down) (Bryan/Salley): Mr Jerry Salley amazes me and makes me feel all proud and patriotic when he supports our country music artists the way he does. This man is an absolute legend in world music. Thanks Jerry for supporting our folks. An awesome song and it fits Lachlan perfectly.
Stolen Again (Bryan/Cafarella): Like Shane Nicholson, every song that Lachlan writes needs a few listens to get to the nitty gritty. I often get mixed messages and several levels. You can always listen to his songs on several levels.
I New York (Bryan/Ryan): A slightly different detour for Lachlan – it does sound very much like a New York state of mind. I know that Lachlan loves that part of the world and it shines through.
Peace In The Valley (Bryan/Cafarella):: mellow out to this is easy on the ear song. Lachlan’s songs are never simple….they always have another meaning.
The Cemetery Near My Home Town (Bryan): Usually, Lachlan writes murder songs and songs from dark places. This is probably the closest on this album to that dark side, but it is more positive than negative in this tough subject.
Someone you know so well (Bryan): A traditional Lachlan kind of song. I have heard Lachlan sing this before. He almost croons. Lovely.
Lachlan Bryan: Vocals, pianos, guitars and harmonica
Shaun Ryan: Bass guitar
Damian Cafarella: Drums, percussion, guitars, steel, banjo, dobro, air triangle and saucepan lids
John Bedggood: Fiddle
Imogen Clark: Backing vocals
Shanley Del: Lead vocals on The Basics of Love
James Gillard: Upright bass and Backing vocals on The Basics of Love
Recorded, mixed, mastered and produced by Damian Cafarella.