Luther Russell


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Luther Russell's opening cut on Repair -- "Rise and Shine" -- bounces about like a happy bit of '70s pop, the perfect summer song for cruising country roads in one's convertible. The lyrics are profoundly simple, espousing an appreciation for sunny days and a commitment to love. The choruses guarantee the listener's attention, kicking the effervescent mood into high gear. "Everybody Falls," as one might guess from the title, is also about love, or the failure of love. The arrangement, acoustic guitars and strings, and mid-tempo pacing generates a melancholy mood, a sad pretty song. Both songs are gifts of a kind, tracks that flow effortlessly, though obviously each are the result of careful effort on Russell and his collaborators' part. The downside is that these early cuts are difficult to live up to on Repair, and no matter how good the remainder of the material may be, frontloading tracks handicaps the rest of the album. On the fourth track, "Blinking Star," Russell sounds like a more familiar singer/songwriter, supporting the words with an alternative country wrapping. "My Own Blood" reverts to a structure reminiscent to the opening track, though without a worthy chorus to bring it together. Repair's early tracks reveal Russell as a formidable talent, but the latter tracks stand in the shadow of "Rise and Shine" and "Everybody Falls."

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