Alun Piggins Balladesque

Bouncing back from the disintegration of the once-great Ontario rock’n’roll machine the Morganfields, Piggins has landed on his feet with an acoustic guitar and a fine collection of new songs that live up to his earliest, best work. He has a knack for powerful and intense songs that could pass as anthems in the hands of someone less subtle, but as sung by Piggins are tender and captivating. One of his earlier faults was that he tended to write melodies out of his vocal range, so the biggest surprise here is how beautiful his falsetto sounds on his increasingly pop melodies (“Abandoning,” “Out in the Woods”). Balladesque is a gripping return to form for this highly underrated songwriter. (Moldy Floor)