Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

JUSTIN CURRIE

Lower Reaches

2014-04-27

Justin Currie is best known for founding the Scottish band Del Amitri in Glasgow in the early 1980s. With Del Amitri, Currie released six alternative rock albums between 1985 and 2002. The band had not toured in over a decade, but in January/February 2014, the group surprised fans with a UK tour. During the bands hiatus, Currie toured the UK as a solo artist. As his career as a solo artist grew with the releases of 2007s What Is Love For and 2010s The Great War, those tours extended to North America and the world. Currie's new album, Lower Reaches, is the follow-up to critically acclaimed The Great War, which prompted Mojo to call Currie "a songwriter's songwriter." Currie wrote most of the songs on Lower Reaches during a solitary songwriting retreat on the Isle of Skye off the coast of Scotland. The album was recorded in Austin, Texas with producer Mike McCarthy (Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, Spoon, Patty Griffin). "Bend to My Will" begins a light country tune and fills out with a rocky sound by the end of the song. Though the instrumentation uplifts, upon closer scrutiny, the lyrics may be darker than expected. "On A Roll" is a rock tune with electric organ and metal guitar interwoven with Currie's moody melody.  The songs dark tones make space for the muddy guitar solos.
Richard Martin

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