Lucero – Among The Ghosts (album review)

by Woody on August 1, 2018

Photo by Dan Ball

Among The Ghosts is an album by a band trying to rekindle the magic of their youth, and for the most part pulling it off. Ten years into career, starting with 2009’s 1372 Overton Park, the band began working in a Memphis soul influences into their sound. While I loved the earlier stuff more, it was a nice transition for the band as they fell prey to Father Time like we all do.

On Among The Ghosts, Ben Nichols and crew circles back to the days where they were leading the charge on alt-country; combining punk with twang; all the while wearing their heart on their sleeve. While their sound looks towards the past, the lyrics by Nichols shows some real nice growth here. Nichols’ lyrics has always leaned towards a heart-on-sleeve autobiographical bent; on Among The Ghosts he becomes more of a storyteller.

On To My Dearest Wife, Nichols blends both as he uses Civil War letters from the front and combines with his time on the road away from his new family to pen one of Lucero’s top tracks ever. Bottom Of The Sea, a track about a drowning, has a dark gothic feel in a tune that builds nicely with some tasty riffs. Cover Me sees Nichols’ vocals at their grizzled best, as the protagonist sings of a shootout in the ol’ Wild West.

For this album, the boys all loaded into one room at Sam Phillips Recording and tracked this puppy live. You can feel it throughout as it captures a certain energy that only comes from being in the same room with guys you’ve been with for 20 years. Listen, as I am loathe to tell you, you can’t recreate your youth. But sometimes you can pay it a quick visit for inspiration. And Lucero does that quite well on Among The Ghosts.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Lucero is here

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