A surprise lies among the ghosts
Among the Ghosts, the latest album by Lucero, is a true look at average-Joe problems. In the same way that cult leaders speak in a way that makes people believe everything they say, Lucero sings about their issues in a way that those listening think that they too have experienced the same problems the band has, a cool talent to be sure. The album feels whole and unified, although several listens has the ear calling for a deluxe edition or some bonus tracks as if it were an essay that had a page limit.
The opener, coincidentally also the title track, establishes the easy-to-down mix of substantial lyrics and hummable instrumental lines; chances are the guitar part will get thought of before the vocals, and that’s more than okay. The stand-outs of the ten tunes aren’t as noticeable as a someone who stands 6’7” but they could probably still play college ball. “Bottom of the Sea” is gently soaked in seafoam, and the waves crash calmly underneath the longing vocals. It puts listeners in the maritime mood without surf-rock guitar–a skill worth slapping on a resume. When “To My Dearest Wife” rolls around, we feel as if we have known his for as long as he has, and our eyes slowly close in synchronization with a smile during “Always Been You.”
Perhaps the most memorable trait of the project for this reviewer is the blend of alt-rock and country, the latter being a genre often maligned, particularly for its vocal trends. But this, oh me oh my this, is such a good bridge from disliking country to beginning to tolerate it. The twang that normally gets under the skin, is truly emotional. A very welcomed surprise for someone who normally dabbles in Johnny Cash country music. They have a sound that beckons for an outdoor seating area at a grill in the summertime, not to dismiss the production though, considering that the tag team of the instrumentals and the production make this different (and more enjoyable) than typical country. From start to finish, Among the Ghosts is an easy listen, with nothing to slander in the slightest. Varied instrumentals, ear-catching touches at well-placed intervals (the piano pedals in “Long Way Back Home”) and a comforting voice to sing us through it all.