Published Apr 17, 2019Joey Landreth hasn't stood still the last half decade. The Bros. Landreth's debut received a Juno, a previous solo release was well-regarded, and he has toured extensively both as a Bros. and under his own name. Being busy, perhaps Landreth hasn't allowed himself time for reflection on past accomplishments.
Hindsight is a guitar-based recording; recorded by a consistent trio — Landreth (guitars and vocals), Meg Dolovich (bass), and producer Roman Clarke (drums) — these nine songs veer further into modern rock'n'roll territory than the Whiskey EP. Whereas that release melded an Americana approach with introspective elements, Hindsight completely sets aside fundamentals that could reasonably identify the album as having anything to do with roots-rock.
While there are momentary flashes with familiar references, (Steve Earle's name is dropped in "Still Driving," a song that includes the refrain "If this road goes on forever," an allusion to the Robert Earl Keen standard) most songs resemble City & Colour anthems run through the Danko Jones book of licks. A cacophony of distortions close "Where Did I Go Wrong," further evidence that Landreth wasn't concerned about continuing the trajectory established by earlier music.
"Where Did I Go Wrong" is the album's signature piece, a creative and singularly soulful vocal performance backed by wah-wah guitar bits and a driving rhythm arrangement. Co-written with brother David and Clarke, as are three additional numbers, this boisterous song stands out from the balance of rather ordinary material.
When viewed in light of the Let It Lie album, and the stout Whiskey, Hindsight pales. "Forgiveness," "Dangerous Heart," "Letting You Go" and especially "Cryin'" are comprised of hooks aplenty, vocal and instrumental flourishes that engage. But once they fade, so does their impact.
Missing from Hindsight is the creativity of the first album, the playfulness of Uncover Bros., and the contemplative intensity of Whiskey. Disappointing comes to mind when attempting to describe Hindsight. (Cadence)