A stellar collection of eleven songs from British singer-songwriter Bobby Long, a name I hadn’t been familiar with before but am now looking to know more about.  Refined acoustic guitar picking, tight harmonies and well-structured melodies make this album stand out to me.  It’s also interesting how “American” this album sounds, considering Mr. Long hails from the U.K.

Starting with the title track, “Ode To Thinking” has all the right elements:  an impassioned vocal, harmonies, subtle and soulful organ and angelic backing vocals; “Cold Hearted Lover” is a familiar lyrical theme (“…I guess she’ll drink my blood like wine…”), but done in a poetic/articulate manner with the right kind of arrangement and feel, which makes it all the more powerful and “I’m Not Going Out Tonight” is acoustic/countrified-pop; upbeat, crisp and catchy, especially on the chorus and easily the album’s standout.  “Hideaway” is also a country-flavored number that has a classic and near-gospel touch and glorious harmonies; “The Dark Won’t Get Darker” is just that – a bit sinister sounding and yet manages to remain melodic and “1985” builds slowly with a fully-realized arrangement that again shows restraint yet fullness.

An impressive, powerful and enjoyable listening experience, I can only hope that as I backtrack through Bobby Long’s catalog, I’ll find more pieces of musical gold because this one is a very fine moment.


Ode To Thinking is available now

About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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