Album Review: Things That Can't Be Undone by Corb Lund
Great, Based on 5 Critics
PopMatters - 80 Based on rating 8/10
On his latest, Canadian country singer Corb Lund abandons modern revisionist country pretensions in favor of a stripped-down, story song-focused approach that leans heavily on the early country/folk rock sound of the Byrds, Gram Parsons, and on at least one track, the Beatles. Unlike a number of his peers, Lund looks to a transitional period in country music for inspiration, when the genre began adopting elements of the burgeoning rock scene and vice-versa. Using minimal overdubs and a standard four-piece band setup, Lund places the focus squarely on the songs themselves, the instrumentation a mere facilitator of the message.
Canadian country songwriter Corb Lund made a left turn on 2014's Counterfeit Blues with a twist on a greatest-hits album: He and his Hurtin' Albertans revisited catalog tracks by re-cutting them live at Sun Studio in Memphis. It was a half-rockabilly boogie and half-honky tonk stage burner. Things That Can't Be Undone is a return to new material, and a more logical extension of his Juno-winning 2012 set Cabin Fever.
Fans have come to not only expect toe-tapping hits from Corb Lund, but also sidesplitting laughs. After a slew of acclaimed albums, the Albertan alt-country star has proven highly adept at both, and one song from his new LP, Things That Can't Be Undone, answers that tall order. Dubbed "Washed-Up Rock Star Factory Blues," the tune finds Lund singing drolly about mopping up at his day job after his music career has fallen into a hot mess.
Corb LundThings That Can’t Be Undone(New West)Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars From the Band and Neil Young to Ian Tyson, Colin Linden and Blue Rodeo, there was never a question that Canadians couldn’t capture the heart of Americana as well as, and often arguably better than, those born and raised in the US. Corb Lund and his three piece backing band The Hurtin’ Albertans keep that concept alive on their first album of original material since 2012’s well received Cabin Fever. Working with Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Kristin Diable), the hottest Americana producer of the moment, Lund and his band have crafted ten solid songs that combine singer-songwriter, country, pop and rock in equal measures.
Alberta roots-country singer-songwriter Corb Lund hasn’t released an album of new material since 2012, an absence apparently due in equal part to a busy touring schedule and a lack of inspiration. “Things That Can’t Be Undone” makes a powerful argument that inspiration has returned. Its songs range far, to Iraq and street fighting against the Mahdi Army (“Sadr City“) and back home for a tale of family discord that ends in the dissolution of a six-generation ranch (“S Lazy H”).