Eastern Lane - Shades Of Black

Bill Cummings 22/04/2004

Rating: 4/5

Opening alt country rocker “Dead July” sets the tone for this album with its beautiful melodic line allied to aching vocals that land somewhere between Jeff Tweedy's gruff delivery and Conor Obursts tortured drawl. The lyrics are equally bittersweet at one moment wracked in self-doubt, the next burning with hope “ In the shade/ we left our shackles in the shade.” This album's melancholic heart further reveals itself to the listener, on other highlights like the “portrait of Tuesday” that marries melodic folk, to Americana influences to producing emotive beauty, and “Holy Arms” that's brooding self confessional crescendo is coupled with lines like “you used to talk like you knew me/ but I could always prove you wrong/now you say you can see through me well I'm as holy as the sun.” An Ace record.