Reviewed by: Mae Hunt
Kyle Lalone buckled down during quarantine to cultivate his recently released album, Looking for the Good. Last year, I reviewed Lalone’s 2020 EP, Somewhere in Between, and referred to it as the epitome of classic country music. Well folks, he has done it again! The album, produced and mixed by Elijah Ocean, is chock-full of rock, funk, and of course, that classic country twang that Lalone so naturally creates.
The album’s first song, Everything I Need, introduces listeners to the ongoing theme of appreciating the small things in life. In Lalone’s crisp southern drawl, he sings: “My car’s pretty banged up but it still runs just fine. Never breaks down and gets me where I need to go right on time.” Lalone’s voice, at times gruff and at others conversational, is always clear amidst the myriad of acoustics and percussions. This song radiates a humility that can only come from the down-to-earth person that I believe Lalone to be.
The next song, Better Than the Last Time, is a classic love song that retains that country twang in Everything I Need. Lalone swoons, she’s “sweeter than a Georgia peach and she always looks so fine.” The lyrics are simple, but paired with an acoustic guitar, they create a sweet and buoyant melody.
In addition to highlighting life’s sweetness, Lalone doesn’t shy away from life’s hardships. No End in Sight shares the story of an incoming (metaphorical) fire that might burn down a house. Lalone sings, “It’s always the same thing year after year. Temperature keeps rising, we’re never in the clear.” In this sombre yet gentle song, the feeling of hopelessness in the midst of chaos prevails – a feeling perhaps sparked by the quarantine and chaos of 2020.
In addition to his lyrical skills, Lalone, known as a well-versed guitarist, shows off his abilities on both the acoustic and electric guitar. Not only that, but the album features a variety of different artists. One of my favorite songs, Money is King, features Bryan Griffin on drums and percussion. The song begins with the statement: “The cost to live keeps rising, but my wage stays the same.” Lalone sings about working-class America, capitalism, and barely being able to make it by after 50-hour weeks.
Ultimately, the album’s title track Looking for the Good is representative of what I take with me after listening. This song, which is about looking for the good when “the world is on its knees” is an anthem of optimism and perseverance. Though the album touches on struggles of everyday life, Lalone always remains hopeful (a prevalent theme in Somewhere in Between as well). He is an excellent writer, musician, and creator and I cannot wait to see what he creates next.
Listen and buy here.