Released: August 19, 2013
Peak: 46 UK
Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)
Genre: adult alternative rock
Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
All songs written by Justin Currie.
Total Running Time: 39:49
2.537 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)
About the Album:
Justin Currie helmed rock band Del Amitri (“Roll to Me,” “Kiss This Thing Goodbye”) for six albums before the one-off Uncle Devil Show and a solo career. He “has sharpened his pop hooks and topped off the vinegar in his veins” CR for his third solo outing, “the dusty, driving, and soulful Lower Reaches.” AMG
The title suggests “Currie doesn’t expect it to be the album which launches him into the mega-selling musical stratosphere where he can expect blanket-airplay, a completely fair reassessment of his band’s career and every drop dead cool skinny trousered axe-wielder to confess that Del Amitri were the band that were the band that convinced them to pick up the guitar for the first time.” BSM
Nonetheless, you can “rest assured you’re about to get a master class.” NY BBC News said, “Currie’s old-school craftsmanship is rigorously solid” CR and the New York Daily News says the album is marked “as always, by Currie’s finely spun melodies, expertly placed hooks and ironically warm vocals.” CR This is yet another “well crafted album by a mature singer-songwriter.” BSM
He recorded the album in Austin, Texas with Mike McCarthy (the Hold Steady, Patty Griffin, Spoon, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of the Dead) producing. “The album features stories of love and loss with a magical mix of the Scottish songwriter’s bittersweet poetry and soulful vocals.” CR He “marries the misty melancholia of his homeland and the red rock vistas of the southwest with ease, resulting in a collection of road-ready, Scots-spun Americana that feels both loose and lived in.” AMG That is apparent on the lead single, “the folky and reflective Little Stars.” CR
“There has always been something genuine and believable in Currie’s lyrics and his slightly cracked vocals have always made the most of them.” BSM BBC News called Currie’s lyrics “considered and honed…delivered with intelligence and sincerity.” CR All Music Guide said, “As wry and erudite as ever, Currie can turn a phrase with the best of them, and Lower Reaches has some real dark gems like ‘I feel my body going south, so I take the scenery in,’” AMG from the “ironically upbeat radio single Bend to My Will,” CR which “recalls the Eagles’ hit ‘Already Gone.’” NY
Another highlight is “the equally pastoral Every Song’s the Same.” AMG “The melody moves smoothly enough to let Currie's words flow like they wrote themselves. But the chorus holds a troubling irony. While Currie encourages the aspiring songwriter he's advising to find an individual voice.” NY
In I Hate Myself for Loving You, he sings, “I love to hate myself.” “Of course, that title has been used before, but, as with all things Currie, never quite like this.” NY “Witty, raw, prosaic, and altogether well-written, often bleak observations about life and death and all of the petty things in-between have been his calling card since the ‘80s, so it should come as no surprise that he can still deal them out without the slightest twitch of the wrist.” AMG “His deep, unflawed voice has a leading man’s charisma – but with an edge. Colin Farrell could play him in the movie.” NY
“Musically, Lower Reaches spends the majority of its time in the lower gears, opting for midtempo balladry and contemplative fingerpicking over the smooth, yet propulsive folk-pop that made Currie-penned Del Amitri staples…so immediate and engaging, but at a refined ten songs, it never drags the listener under, even as it's stealthily immersing them in darkness.” AMG
Notes: Some versions of the album contained bonus tracks “Guess” and “London Is Dead.”
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First posted 5/14/2021.