This Memphis group, which formed in late ‘90s, specialize in generous portions of classic rock served with deep-fried Southern soul. It’s a sound that seems a little tired these days with familiarity breeding a certain amount of contempt. Being impervious to trends can be seen as dependable or stuck in the mud.
Even the publicists admit that Lucero's tenth studio album "wouldn’t seem out of place on a Reagan-era FM dial" as if this were a praiseworthy quality. To nobody's great surprise, songwriter and frontman Ben Nichols declares “I wanted a very classic rock sound for this album.”
Rick Steff's synthesizer broadens the range a little but this hardly makes it contemporary. In addition to Nichols and Steff, the group comprises Brian Venable on guitar, John C. Stubblefield on bass, and Roy Berry on drums. The album was recorded at Sam Phillips Recording Studio in Memphis while respecting Covid precautions and was produced by Matt Ross-Spang.
Rock and roll tropes are combined with a fresh focus on family values to reflect Nichols newfound roles as husband and father. The opening track Have You Lost Your Way? was inspired by reading bedtime stories to his daughter and the album closes with the title track,a love letter to his wife.
Aside from this it all chugs along efficiently and tracks like Outrun the Moon and Back in Ohio function as Springsteen-like driving music.
All this is fine and dandy if you like rock music that plays it straight and doesn't let the mess of the modern world intrude too much.