Reviews

Left Arm Tan Rides Again


By Brian Rock

Left Arm Tan rides again (with windows down of course) on their eponymous fifth album, Left Arm Tan. Continuing in the footsteps of their Southern California Country-Rock heroes, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Pure Prairie League, and The Eagles, Left Arm Tan (LAT) combines the sun-soaked rhythms of southern California with beautiful vocal harmonies to create a sound that’s as smooth and potent as a tequila sunrise.

Singing songs about broken hearts and broken dreams, LAT tries to make the most of bad situations by adding a little rhythm to their blues. In “Pawn Shop Heart,” for instance, they sing about the pain of loving women who “Buy, sell, or trade all the love that we made,” like a used pawn shop broach. But the melodic guitar and vocal harmonies help to ease the pain like the aforementioned tequila sunrise.

“Harder To Let Go,” deals with heartache of a different nature. Telling the story of a young woman leaving home to pursue her Hollywood dreams, LAT compares the struggles of pursuing your goals with the struggles of raising kids. No matter how hard the struggle, it’s always “harder to let go.”

“Alpha Bravo,” confronts the issues of our returning soldiers who have seen, “things I just can’t unsee.” Again, melodic electric guitar, steel guitar and even cello combine to create a soothing backdrop to the stark realism of the lyrics. And although no song could fully capture what they have been through; this song, by at least trying to empathize with them, serves as a musical “Thank You” to the troops.

“Stars And City Lights,” “It Ain’t Love,” and “Silver And Gold,” all continue the mellow, melodic, melancholy of the album. Like the Eagles on songs like “Lyin’ Eyes” and “Pretty Maids All In A Row,” LAT takes life’s lemons and makes some sweet, smooth lemonade.

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Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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