Published Oct 14, 2015In 2013, Terry Wolfers, co-founding member of Alberta Cross, quit the band, leaving Petter Ericson Stakee as the sole member. It's fitting, then, that on Alberta Cross' third full-length record, and the first since Wolfers' departure, Stakee is in a reflective state and encouraging listeners to join him. Alberta Cross' familiar '70s rock soundscape is lush and relaxed — ideal for the self-reflection that's fostered by long drives, Sunday afternoons and quiet dinner conversations with friends. Brightened by the vibrancy of horns and strings, the album cradles your own thoughts as it does Stakee's contemplations of "living on easy street" ("Easy Street"), time's finiteness nature ("Shadow of Mine") and his many other gentle musings.
Alberta Cross shines the brightest, though, when Stakee is at his most energetic. His struggles with facing the daily grind and life's uncertainties, against the driving rhythm of "Western State," borders on anthemic, while the ebullient "Ghost of Santa Fe" forgoes quiet contemplation and has Stakee, bright-eyed and with a spring in his step, finding answers out in the world. Stakee's repetition of "I've got my own way," as the song closes, floats high above the energetic rock structure and becomes the record's motto. (Dine Alone)