Lach's reputation as a kind of Ur-figure to any number of modern artists is well established, and like any artist worth his salt he continues following his muse with the help of various friends and collaborators on his latest album, The Calm Before. This said, it's an album that's enjoyable enough but in the end not much more than pleasant, an effort proud to include details in its liner notes about not using any computers or electric guitars or the like, but which while energetic and well-meaning ends up feeling fairly rote. The jaunty flow of "Egg," with its sax parts and the descending edge in the melody, makes for a merry enough start for the album, but in ways it never quite gets beyond that moment, with similarly pleasant fusions like "A Quiet Distance" and the almost too Dylanesque "Questions" providing nice enough moments in turn, but nothing more than that. The Calm Before is good-spirited, done for love and art, but in the end won't speak to anyone beyond Lach's already established fan base.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett