Evangeline GEL 4060

Oppressed short stories.

On their second full-length CD Songdog reconciles singer/guitarist Lyndon Morgans’ typically English themes with folk and (American) roots influences in twelve songs. Karl Woodward’s (slide) guitars, banjos and mandolines are mainly responsible for that sound. Dave Paterson’s drums and especially keyboards accentuate the songs with a lot of atmosphere, but only sparingly.

The incidental support of a bass player and a female singer underlines the modest character of the music more than straining it.

In Morgans’ stilly, acoustic songs he sings desparately about rundown love affairs, betrayed ideals, hangovers, bad trips and anonymous sex. Strikingly, he is not only other people’s victim, but also plenty of a culprit. The self-evident and hopeless pessimism that speaks from it, contrasts vehemently with the sweet and intimate music.

In story-like songs with unexpected titles as So The Lord Sent Chantal Morgans pairs great themes carelessly with references to text messages, Destiny’s Child and DVD, but also to Chet Baker, the Kinks and Television. By divergent angles he transforms classic anecdotes into tense events, which continually just do not explode musically. This way, his songs sketch a picture of an everyday, but slightly surrealistic reality.

That Morgans can sing them supply and emotionally proves his talent, because they are lyrics with a literary feel, furnished with countless sharp one-liners. The CD would have been better named after Days Of Armageddon though, because he does sing that he is going to write a haiku, but fortunately he did not.

(three and a half)

Ruud Heijjer