I don’t think I want to
but I’m gonna’ give up pretty soon.
It’s been the first thing that I think about
and before I fall asleep at two.
But there comes a time when a man…
he has to face to face some hard truths.From “True Blue”
From these opening lyrics, D.L Rossi lets us know that his latest album, Lonesome Kind, is a work of emotional honesty. Through the course of 10 songs, he reflects on his life’s journey and the personal struggles that have framed his introspection. After fighting (and overcoming) testicular cancer, working through divorce, and experiencing a nervous breakdown, Rossi writes with a unique perspective about how our lives are full of beginnings and endings. Yet while the album often has a solemn feel, it’s never mired in self pity or angst. Instead, thanks in part to the rich musical backing and touching harmonies, the songs take on a feel of growth and renewal.
Album opener, “True Blue,” (quoted above) stands out as a mood-setter. Early on, you can feel the artist’s turmoil as he searches in the darkness of his thoughts in a way that inspires comparisons to John Moreland. However, as the song plays on, we feel some light being cast upon Rossi’s shadows. The subtle way that Rossi uses vocal inflection and a slight musical build to highlight this evolution is particularly noteworthy. Later, “Great Lakes State Line,” captures the turmoil of a person reflecting on how his hometown and childhood influenced his life. In his musings, we feel the artist working to reconcile his past with who he has become. The challenges of figuring out growing up weigh on the artist’s mind throughout the album.
These songs are wonderfully contrasted by other, (slightly) more up-tempo highlights from the record. “Tumbling,” which explores Rossi’s efforts to start dating again in his 30’s, is loaded with nostalgic soul-searching, yet it feels that the singer is at peace. It has a bit of a jangly Tom Petty quality to it with the added accent of a strong drumbeat. “Whiskey” has a different sound from the rest of the album, featuring a throw-back folk-pop vibe. Album closer, “Oak Tree,” gives the album a sense of resolution. With a huge build that even includes the addition of horns, the song makes you feel like everything is not okay yet, but there’s still hope for the future.
With Lonesome Kind, D.L. Rossi gives us an Americana album that demands us to recognize his talent as a songwriter. However, it’s his ability to load his vocals with emotional inflection, the perfectly paired instrumentation, and thoughtful production that makes it a great listen rather than simply a collection of well-crafted words. Rossi gives us poignant, yet approachable melancholy.
Featured Artist Image Of D.L. Rossi By Rachel Hurley