“This Mess We’re In” – Arlo McKinley (2022) [english]

When a road has struck you, it has satisfied you, it is always a pleasure for me to return. It’s been only 2 years since the debut solo record (40 years) of this singer-songwriter, but on the one hand it’s like a lifetime has passed, because the songs have nothing stale or dragged by force, and on the other it seems a second has passed, because we find the same feeling with a superior artistic mind that does not disappoint even this time. His previous work (which I told you about https://www.trexroads.com/die-midwestern-arlo-mckinley-2020/ ) It was the last discovery of the late John Prine, who, before leaving us, had wanted it for his record label Oh Boy Records. When you get a warranty seal like that, you arouse the curiosity to learn more, and that led many to discover Arlo McKinley. His music had been called a kind of street-soul country, because it is not country and not even soul, but it possesses the feeling and melancholy. After listening and listening to the 11 pieces that make up this This Mess We’re In, I can tell you that what reminded me and made me think, is a sort of crossover between the first Springsteen, the first Dylan and the last Dylan, watered with a violin with a country flavor. Listening to this album is not easy, the lyrics are also about hard moments of life, very autobiographical, but the music sometimes persuasive, sometimes melancholic, sometimes wild, makes it more enjoyable and smooth. The production of Matt Ross-Spang does not invade the space of Arlo, but makes the listening experience such as to enhance the art. A folk record with a rock soul. The sound is almost always acoustic, a journey told by the intense and evocative voice of McKinley, there is the violin to increase the feeling and sometimes the electricity of a guitar. Just start the record and you immediately realize with I Don’t Mind, which is all set to perfection, the intensity is a catharsis. It fits the famous country adage that a sad song helps to be happy. Sort of a group therapy. Recounting your own failures, the problems of depression, as in the wonderful single Stealing Dark From The Night Sky, is something that serves to lighten our soul, to create empathy with those who listen to you, who sometimes may need someone to talk about it. It’s a circle that Arlo’s songs represent perfectly and that also touches rock strings like in To Die For, where the organ and electric guitar that whip the air, do not clash, rather give depth to the sound of a great artist. Dancin’ Days is a bitter and realistic reflection, the slow guitar accompanies us through a simple and disarming text: “I know that nothing is forever / And no one leaves / As perfect as they came”. It’s all here: sincere and with no intention of sweetening the pill. The title track has a gorgeous piano intro, a piece reminiscent of the Springsteen ballads of the 80’s. It’s, after all, a love song and the title explains what kind of romance will be in the midst of the mess we’re in. Romantic, faded, intense, it is a poem for fine palates and lovers of life, despite everything. A wave of rock returns with Rushintherug, electricity introduces a piece that will not really be bustling, but of considerable emotional intensity. Where You Want Me is perhaps the most country of the work, the violin takes the stage, accompanied by the rhythm of the guitar, melancholy and a lot of echo of rock and roll author. Glimpses of the sun in the clouds of melancholy. As I finish listening to this album, I remember the years when Bruce Springsteen (still him) wrote poignant rock ballads, supported by real and tragic stories: Arlo McKinley is that kind of artist. In a personal way he collects that legacy, transforms it and gives it to us in the form of a record of pure music class. A work that tells hard and dramatic stories not easy to sing, but the strength of the music and poetry of Arlo McKinley is sincerity and this creates empathy with the listener and makes listening a real therapy. Everyone has had difficult or painful experiences and we know that finding someone who sings about them helps us to bear them better, maybe to overcome them and to look at the future with different eyes, knowing that we are not the only ones to live certain situations. I also want to be absolutely sincere and I won’t tell you that it is easy to listen to this record, but if you need a catharsis against the difficulties of life and you need to know that you are not alone, Take part in this group therapy and let yourself be guided by the music of a great American artist and his new masterpiece.

Good listening,

Trex Willer by http://www.ticinonotizie.it

(you can find original italian article at this link : https://www.ticinonotizie.it/arlo-mckinley-this-mess-were-in-2022-by-trex-roads/ )

Pubblicato da Trex

Sono un blogger e scrittore appassionato di musica indipendente americana. Scrivo gialli polizieschi e ho inventato il personaggio del detective texano Cody Myers.

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