Slowtrain Album Review

The music is delicious, but please don’t lick the band.

Living in a music-filled and artist-oriented town such as Austin, TX means the constant barrage of new music can be overwhelming. There are the veteran musicians who play to sold-out shows in familiar and nostalgic locales because their 20-plus year career has earned more than a full house of fans; and there are the brand new starry-eyed dreamers who would sell their soul for a record contract, deserved or not. Somewhere in between, there are a handful of individuals who are musicians by birth, who live and breathe music, who simply exist in a normal realm that happens to be incredibly artistic. These last treasured few are the ones to watch; Adoniram Lipton- front man of Slowtrain– belongs in this category.

Bound To Find You Out is the first full-length album from Slowtrain, and in short, it is awesome. Mastered with obvious, tedious precision the 10 tracks are full-bodied, well-rounded and endlessly interesting. The layers are fascinating: laid down neatly and stirred up with the highly skilled musicians’ endeavors in piano, organ, harmonica, and guitar.  The lead vocals and accompanying harmonies soar through the well-written lyrics, yet somehow envelope the listener with emotion by allowing tiny squeaks and tweaks to remain. And the whistling is like icing on top of an already delicious treat. This is smart music.

Somehow this album reminds you of everything you love from a lifetime of good music, yet Bound To Find You Out is so original and fresh that not one specific artist or song can be pinpointed. Sure, the influences are there: Dylan (the band name presumably honoring the title track of the Dylan album), The Band, classic Elton John even; but the ever-so-slight familiarity lends to the satiated and content feeling similar to that you get after your favorite home-cooked meal. It’s real, it’s honest, and it’s so, so good. Slowtrain has cooked up a mouth-watering album.

Literary references in “Just Like Cheever” and the piano riffs and near whimsical whistles in “Not The Only One”, add to the emotionally playful nature of the album. Although the original 5th track position with its wistful sense of simpler times and a bittersweet desire for a different, but unknown destination is great, the added piano combined with the passion in Lipton’s voice and haunting echo in the “Waiting Just for You” reprise caps off the album with the poise of beloved single-monikered artists. “Beautiful Soul” is filled with just that: beautiful, soulful crescendos and enough repentance to make you come running back for more. With stage-production-sized melodies and theatrically romantic lyrics about sometimes unrequited, sometimes fulfilled love stories Bound To Find You Out presents a lovely ensemble of talent, sensitivity, and straight-up cool tunes.

If you’re here locally in Austin, listen to Bound To Find You Out and check out Slowtrain live. If not, buy the album and start packing. Either way, this album has 10 delicious tracks you need in your collection, but please refrain from licking the band.

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