Published Sep 28, 2016Luke Winslow-King's fifth record turns the devastation and heartbreak of divorce into a raw and inspiring exploration of moving on.
Opening track "On My Way" starts with soulful slide licks and builds into an uplifting track with gospel-inspired organ pads. Winslow-King's delta-blues guitar playing shines on this track, and when he passionately croons "Baby, when I'm on my way, you'll never bend or break me," there's a feeling of hopefulness that's utterly infectious.
The title track showcases Winslow-King's strong vocals, ringing out over some heavy blues riffs. He reminds both himself and the listener that these troubling times will subside, while he tries to make sense of picking up the pieces — it's a sobering track that sets the tone for the album. Winslow-King has no intention of wallowing, and there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel.
Despite the strong start, the album feels muted at times, restrained in moments that should be impassioned and almost strenuous. There are also times when the brevity of the lyrics seems undercut by the upbeat nature of the instrumentals, creating a strange divide within the songs. On "Esther Please," a desperate plea for Winslow-King's ex-wife, his brooding lyrics are curtailed by a plinky, repetitive guitar riff that's so out of place it's distracting.
There are moments of suffering, self-pity and, eventually, redemption throughout the nine tracks, and although there are some missteps, Luke Winslow-King's I'm Glad Trouble Don't Last Always is admirable in its undertaking, and definitely worth the listen. (Bloodshot)