On his first solo release, Shane Lamb delivers an even dozen bitter-sweet country/rock bon-bons. Though his music shares a genre populated by last-name folk-rock icons such as Dylan and Petty, Lamb’s music vibrates with a level of originality and personal authenticity that rivals the heavyweights.
Disengage is a concept album, something about personal loss and gain, but it doesn’t get in the way of its pure visceral enjoyment. Major chords from multiple guitars with every juicy harmonic overtone are well-represented. Some songs, such as
“A While,” are so melt-in-your-mouth beautiful with shimmering guitar chords mated to a decending melody line that you never want the tune to end. “The Change In Me” begins with a fast boogie beat, then makes a Nick-Lowe-ish left hand pop music twist into jangly pop heaven. “Dream Tonight” floats in the regions of Nick Drake and XTC – dreamy, ethereal, and upward-bound. Lamb finds this place between sweet and sour, this musical balance, like a gossamer tightrope where his music lives. His arrangements are full, lush even, but never cloying.
If you enjoy Tom Petty, Poco, The Byrds, or Nick Lowe give a listen to Shane Lamb.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Nov. ’10 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.