Lethbridge Owen – Mind Over Matter (Cargo Records)
Rock? At times. Pop? Maybe. Country? Definitely. Americana and blues? Sure. Hell, Leaving Home is infused with dreamy folk. Lethbridge Owen tick so many boxes on the deeply affecting Mind Over Matter that it’s impossible to pigeon hole the rookie duo. That, in itself, is both a strength and a weakness.
There are moments, when Lethbridge Owen are at their most compelling, that classic Fleetwood Mac meets the Rolling Stones. Then there are those mellow breaks when the kind of radio-friendly country pop peddled by Ward Thomas comes to the fore.
And when guitarist Jimmy Owen really lets rip – complemented by Kelly Louise Lethbridge’s soulful verve – it’s like listening to Tedeschi Trucks Band at their wondrous and expansive best.
Mind Over Matter requires an open mind. An acceptance that variety is the spice of life. And that original songwriting knows no bounds. Owen’s blistering solo on Back To The Blue proves beyond doubt that nothing is off limits and everything is possible.
On Leaving Home and Taking Over Me the fret work is simply sublime but Lethbridge Owen are at their best when sweet vocal harmonies vie for top billing with big bluesy riffs – the Tom Petty-esque Fight For You is a classic case in point.
Mind Over Matter is a celebration of cerebral musicianship that nevertheless manages to retain a radio-friendly accessibility.
So glory in its diversity. Celebrate its candid creativity. And take heart from the fact that Lethbridge Owen possess the self-confidence required to make a record that steadfastly refuses to follow trends or chase genre classification.
Mind Over Matter is defiantly different. Chasing that distinctive signature sound might prove to be the duo’s downfall. But it could catapult Lethbridge Owen into the big leagues.