Melting-pot album embraces life

Al Lukas’ third solo album, appropriately named In My Soul, is strong, moody album built to stir both the mind and soul.

Al Lukas’ third solo album, appropriately named In My Soul, is strong, moody album built to stir both the mind and soul.

It’s rock and bluesy, and at times a throwback to old-school lounge music made contemporary with darker more evocative themes and arrangements

Lukas’ gritty soulful voice packs an understated punch that cuts right to the bone.

His variety of subjects and messages that embrace different aspects of life, not just love, keep the album from getting boring and repetitive.

Each song explores the course of an emotion and situation, not just with Lukas’ heart but also with cause-and-effect logic, while still creating music that’s exciting to listen to—a rare feat.

Lukas’ songs don’t simply state the obvious and play on one idea, he tells full stories.

Many of the songs on the album are written by Lukas and he doesn’t just have a future as a singer and guitar player but as a songwriter as well.

The lyrics are personal and tell a journey unique to Lukas but they’re still relatable in the feelings and images they evoke.

Lukas’ album’s sound deals with the reality of life, not just the good parts. And unlike many other artists today he doesn’t turn struggles into something self-pitying or preachy. In his songs struggles are met head-on without illusions.

This is where judging a book, or in this case a CD, results in the unexpected. Some of Lukas’ songs closer to the end of the album reveal a vulnerable side that comes as a surprise, based on the first few songs.

It may look dark and depressing but it’s worth a listen.

Play, and replay for best results

Impressions, from Canadian singer/songwriter Connie Saulnier is an ordinary album with so much potential.

Saulnier’s voice is skilled but in at times it changes in tone are very subtle and the song gets monotonous. One In A Million is a song about love and loyalty that easily slips through the cracks if you aren’t paying attention to the idea.

The album’s songs are good but not outstanding or attention grabbing. Some, again One In A Million, deserve more passion than what she delivers.

Having personal songs that go into detail about what only the singer can experience can be an advantageous for an album because it reveals intimate details about the artist, but having too many isolates the listeners because the songs are no longer universal.

This album sits on a delicate edge and Saulnier may have added on too many personal songs. Especially since the songs themselves are in a gray area between greatness with her voice and the arrangements and apparent laziness in some of the songs.

Saulnier has created a fair album, but it’s difficult to love. But if given enough chances the music grows on you.

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