Robert Forster The Evangelist

On the surface, The Evangelist was never going to be an easy listen. Two years after the death of Grant McLennan, his musical partner for 30 years, the Go-Betweens’ Robert Forster has returned with an album that’s part tribute to what came before and part glimpse of what lies ahead. The overall mood is, not surprisingly, mournful. Many of the tracks are preoccupied with the sense of loss that he obviously feels and it’s very tempting to find that in every song, whether accurate or not. There are three songs co-written by the duo, in that Forster completed them posthumously from McLennan’s notebooks, but thankfully they aren’t overshadowed by the other work because this is not a Go-Betweens album. That said, it’s hard to hear "Demon Days” and not know who wrote it. Perhaps it was the need to create this fitting eulogy or the desire to keep going despite everything but The Evangelist is Forster’s best solo album by quite a distance. One chapter of his musical career might be coming to a close but it sounds as if the next one could turn out to be much more rewarding than anyone might have expected. (Yep Roc)