ALBUM REVIEW #7 – The Forties, Live Tonight
“Forget about therapists, just listen to ‘Speak No Evil'” wrote a famous critic while reviewing Wayne Shorter’s timeless 1964 album. We advise: forget about your usual lo-fi soundtrack, and switch to The Forties’ “Live Tonight”.
Let’s be honest: reviewing Live Tonight was far from being an easy ride. Uninspiring? Too simple? Déjà Vu? Not within our walls. Live Tonight has a sophisticated side, somehow indomitable but highly pleasurable.
Ex-SWEAT guitarist and songwriter Robben Lent didn’t discover a pre-existing magic formula but defined its components on the occasion of this solo work, supported by harmonious bandmates (full credits at the end of the article). It was just up to us to unveil the bride. You may now kiss her on The Forties’ Bandcamp page while reading our review, or simply use the player below.
The Forties, Live Tonight, a track-by-track review:
Back to me
Back to me was surprisingly chosen as the single of Live Tonight. Despite not being the catchiest song, the opening title presents solid songwriting abilities, creating a maze made of bright treasures keeping your soul up and running without any boring virtuosity in disguise. Also, keep in mind that raw is the new black: no polish degrades the intensity of the song, delivered with a sense of power and honesty that the educated listener will love.
Remember that scene in Elizabethtown, when Kirsten Dunst suggests Orland Bloom to dance on one foot under a tree? Here we are. Shakes is our favorite. Played on repeat in Slow Culture’s
living room headquarters, Shakes should rejoice the most nostalgic Lightspeed Champion fanatics and should make the Davy Graham connoisseur dance on his own without ever looking back. Uplifting bass lines, soft and resonating chords presumably played by Georgia Gleason: only the dishonest would need more to be charmed.
Jimmy Page’s guitar strumming meets Jeff Buckley’s most righteous howling. Easy. Little Moments sounds as sacred as a church can be, so get in and let The Forties preach the gospel to your being. Special mention to the sound of the bass guitar, quite similar to some of the treats recorded with 4 strings that Jimi Hendrix produced on his renowned 1969 masterpiece Electric Ladyland.
Trash bag demonstrates with ease that Robben’s mastery of his voice is not to be proven anymore, even once the highest pitch is reached. The subtle but yet omnipresent use of the vibrato technique clearly amazed us and confirmed that great musicians will never feel the need to overdo things. Not a major track, but a delight for the most technical sensibilities.
Illusions will please those who got lovestruck by Radiohead’s My Iron Lung EP and have been under the spell of Weezer’s sunniest moments of despair since their high school years. The unsurprising chord progression doesn’t diminish the power song, it’s quite the contrary. The apparent simplicity of the song’s structure highlights the beautiful rise in intensity closing Robben Lent’s book.
“It’s a rage without the anger”, as John Mayer would say.
Robben Lent – Lead Guitar/Lead Vocals
Georgia Gleason – Guitar/Backup Vocals
Jordan Siemens – Bass
Alan McTavish – Drums
Edwin De Goeij – Keyboards
All songs recorded and mixed by Austin Tufts and Taylor Smith at Studio Toute Garnie in Montreal EXCEPT *Back to Me* recorded and mixed by Mitch Holtby in Montreal.
All songs mastered by Travis Bretzer.
Cover by Grace Papineau-Couture.