By BRUCE DENNILL
Robin Auld kicks off his latest album with an old-fashioned blues lick that makes Caleb’s Calling, a new song, feel immediately warm, comfortable and familiar. The ability to do that is one of Auld’s strengths, with his particular spin on the classic singer-songwriter formula as effective and appealing as it’s been since the Eighties.
Auld makes some nifty guitar playing sound simple, allowing for a loose, laid-back platform on which to lay his distinctive vocals. Themes for this album vary rather more than on many of his other albums, with Auld musing on religion, mortality, love lost and found and, occasionally, all of these topics in the same composition – on Red Ground (The Ballad Of Mary Livingstone), which considers those left behind when missionary and explorer David Livingstone died.
Similarly, there are a number of musical styles employed here, with blues-rock giving way to acoustic pop, a touch of reggae (on under-the-radar Bee Gees cover Holiday) and minor key musings (Only When You Smile, ironically).
Back Of The Line underlines Auld’s continued relevance as a storyteller and commentator, showing that he has has new musical ideas to share while still delivering the core sound that has kept fans hooked for over three decades.
Refreshingly different while reassuringly consistent, this is an album for newcomers and Auld hands.
- Caleb’s Calling 7.50
- Back Of The Line 7.00
- Corrinna 7.00
- Let Go 7.00
- Holiday 6.50
- Save A Little Something 6.75
- Bones Never Lie 7.25
- Only When You Smile 6.50
- Porgy’s Escape 7.00
- The Old Book 6.50
- Red Ground (The Ballad Of Mary Livingstone) 7.25
- Say The Word 7.25