Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Wow, The Blacklist Social know how to craft a song. In addition to their musical skills, they also know how to make a song pleasing to the ears. If I can listen to the whole album and not think to myself, “well I would have done that differently”, then they have it going on. I am a tough critic when I am listening but I didn’t encounter anything that I would have done differently. They have some 90s alternative and whole slew of alt-country.
Who are these cats from Ontario, way up in Canada? You have: Simon Taylor on vocals and guitar; Joe Gilliam on vocals, harmonica, and slide guitar; Glen Archambault on guitar; David Weaver on mandolin and bass; and, Rick Lobb on drums. All of these guys can play the hell out of their instruments (I include voice in that category). The harmonies throughout Blackstone are pitch perfect and really soothing.
Digging For Gold (Track 2) is a prime example of their stellar harmonies. Also, the acoustic guitar parts are truly moving. It’s a love song, but not so sappy. It says what it has to say, but not so much that it over does it. Just enough sugar, any more and we get diabetes.
There is a song on here that may be one of the best singles in 2017. Dirty Love (Track 6) is as good as it gets. This is my sweet spot: great vocals, great harmonies, and an award winning melody. I used to say if this doesn’t move you, check your pulse. Everyone says that now so I need to move to a new catch phrase. If you don’t like Dirty Love, you’re an unfeeling son of a gun! Take that.
Hold the phone. There is another song on here that is great. And that would be the track after Dirty Love, Record Store Girl (Track 7). The song starts off with a harmonica solo similar to Love me Do. I said similar. The song is about falling in love with a record store girl. There was something totally rad if you worked at an independent record store. It’s the music, it made people amorous.
So I digress. The point is: This is one of the winners of the home run derby. The Blacklist Social knocked it out of the park with Blackstone. You will know what I mean from the first note. This is the real thing.