A new Lou Barlow solo album is probably not going to be anything to write home about in 2021. We've just had a Dinosaur Jr. album afterwards. Who needs a set of navel gazing acoustic songs from the introverted deputy?
Well I do actually. Reason to Live, Barlow's latest, is a very nice record. He's always been a talented guy, a fact you perhaps don't always notice in Dinosaur where it seems he's either contractually or historically obliged to play very much second fiddle at all times to J.
But here's living proof that there's far more to him than that, as if that were needed by now. Reason to Live is a set of well constructed and well played songs for terminal introverts by one of their patron saints.
Devoid of pretension but stocked up in sincerity and talent. There are seventeen unadorned songs here and they all sounded pretty good to me. They also all sounded pretty much like love songs to life to me. Which is nice. A sweet and rather lovely record for the Grunge person in your life who also has time for Simon & Garfunkel.