Lambchop, a large rotating orchestra of uber-talented musicians, has always been the richly woven backdrop for the gorgeous warbling of Kurt Wagner. Lambchop songs have always meandered warmly towards some ambiguous genre that would be easy to call country, and at times probably is, but often isn’t even close. And now on their 10th proper album the Nashville band have neared perfection in a loose and unhurried way.
To call ‘OH (ohio)’ a pop record would be to imperfectly set expectations for those new to the band, but for zealots in the grand continuum of their work it would probably not be an inaccurate statement. For example on songs like ‘National Talk Like A Pirate Day’ is a downright upbeat ramble that grooves with a beautiful soul, piano thumping and guitar jangling, but of course the pace changes course as the band pulls back as Wagner uses the metaphor of a pencil to describe the fragility of a relationship.
Of the many Lambchop records I have loved and then lost track of, this one just feels like a real keeper, to be saved for those contemplative times where you are looking for something thoughtful but not sad. I guess I’ll also always be a sucker for an album named after my home state. This record does it proud.