Anyone that is looking to hear an album that will grab them on impact and show them nothing but fun for 40 minutes over the course of 9 tracks need look no further than The Palace Guards. One can’t help but to give pause when hearing this record for the first time. Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven front man David Lowery has released a solo album (his first) that is guaranteed to make music lovers stand up and take notice.
What makes The Palace Guards even more mind blowing is the fact that David Lowery is 50 years old. Even at that age he is still in touch with his youthful inner soul. The songs on this record are more innovative, emotional, and fresh than most of the younger artists of this genre are currently producing. His many years of experience have paid off.
Opening with a harmonica/guitar hybrid that is played with passion and joy, lead track “Raise ‘Em Up On Honey,” is a hand clapping tune that sets the tone for the entire album. Fun is what this first song is all about. A classic campfire sing-along, “Raise ‘Em Up On Honey” shows off Lowery’s talents while expressing the amount of hard work he put into crafting his music. The song is well thought out, the music specially crafted. Overall, this is an exceptional lead track.
The artistic vision continues on the second song, title track “The Palace Guards.” Lyrically speaking, this song is a little more esoteric and thought provoking. Lowery, however, still produced a catchy, enjoyable, fun song that will find the listener singing long after the music has ended. There are plenty of chord changes, a blend of acoustic and electric guitars, and of course Lowery’s superb vocals to make “The Palace Guards” a classic.
On the rocking tune, “Baby, All Those Girls Meant Nothing To Me,” Lowery shows his cheating side. In a desperate plea for his loved one to take him back, he screams out how the many girls he was with meant nothing to him. While the lyrics are simple, the meaning of the song is strong. A mistake was made (in this case several mistakes) and now forgiveness is sought. The funky vibe and rocking guitar work combined with a catchy hook and popular theme just make this an incredible song. You will fall in love with this track almost immediately.
David Lowery has put together one fine album in The Palace Guards. If you’re a fan of modern folk that comes with funk and groove hooks, you are going to feel right at home listening to this album. If you’re looking for a record that is unique and stands alone, you are going to want to own this record. Lowery worked hard to craft the perfect blend of 9 tracks worth savoring. The finished product is amazing. The Palace Guards is definitely worthy of your time and your attention.
Ryo’s Rating: 8.5 (out of 10)
Raise ‘Em Up On Honey
The Palace Guards
Ah, You Left Me
Baby, All Those Girls Meant Nothing To Me
I Sold The Arabs The Moon