Baby Eagle Baby Eagle

Baby Eagle is the side project of the Constantines’ Steve Lambke, and unlike many side projects it won’t need a descriptive sticker on its jewel case to be worth a damn. From the opening strains of "Some Things We Lose,” Baby Eagle wins over the last Cons record, and by the end of this taster (just under 25 minutes) it’s apparent that Lambke is as good a folkie as he is a rock musician. He has a good voice for the genre, an ear for subtlety, and friends that can help him out (Christine Fellows and John K. Samson play on this). Most likely, he also has about 50,394 tour diaries full of very sentimental lyrics, which he sings with absolute earnestness on this record. It’s not an easy thing to do, and one gets the sense that it probably took Lambke some psyching up — but he did it, and it worked out nicely for the most part. While I wouldn’t peg him as the next Canadian folk hero, he’s got the formula down pat and has added some flourishes of his own. As mentioned, his voice is distinct — endearingly nasal, modest, but not to the point where you want to shake him to life. His hooks are strong when they pop up — "Let Wander Your Restless Heart” has memorable "woo-hoos” and "Long Dying Days of the Holidays” ends with a pretty female sing-along. Sure, he could afford to go further with his own ideas, but that’s likely to happen over future releases. If the mark of success for a debut solo album is proof of potential, then this is a pass with flying colours. (Outside)