I’m not an American, so all the following can be just a plain down lie. However, it seems by this holiday in particular, a genre that usually stands out and play a major role on this memorable date are all those either related to some sweet Rock N’ Roll (Bruce Springsteen?) and Country music. This curious detail come into mind as I was listening the following album by music vet Rob Ashley.
After three decades in the music scene, Ashley roots are as solid as back in the days. A perfect example of it is his new album Premiere. Farewell. Just as the title might suggest, there’s a sense of nostalgia, happiness and classicness into it. The album finds itself mostly in the middle of Classic Rock and Country music, with Rob’s vocals hinting at some legends such as The Boss (though not as raspy) and John Denver. The album kicks off with the thoughtful single “The Drugs Didn’t Last Forever,” a song that dives between the depression and hope – it deals with some dark themes in a somewhat upbeat way as both the music and the lyrics doesn’t seem to match, yet they kinda do. “Pleather” goes for a much Country road and feels like the perfect soundtrack for a road trip with its melodic rhythmic guitars and the always fitting vocals by Ashley. The rest of the album keeps up the great quality with the guitar playing a major role and shining through the solos.
The somewhat timeless approach the records has been attached, makes it perfect for those who still miss the heydays when The Eagles used to rock out the stage. However, while the album may find some faithful album along the way, for me, it came to a point where it felt like a broken disc in the sense that while the tempo changed and so does the vibe of X song, there was a feeling of safety, so to speak. Meaning, Ashley for one reason or the other didn’t take some risks and went for it. That made it a bit tiresome towards the end.
Criteria - 75%
In the end, Premiere. Farewell by Rob Ashley is the perfect record for this particular week, especially the July 4th. It’s filled with poignant and interesting lyrics and stories that gets loose in a sea of familiar sounds that drags the quality down.