Thursday, January 17, 2013

Portage & Main: "Never Had The TIme" (album review)

It's appropriate that a band dubbed Portage & Main would be releasing their album in the depths of winter, since there's nothing that conjures up images of the potential desolation of Canada than that particularly Winnipeg street corner.  However, desolation is far from what you'll find on this Vancouver outfit's sophomore record Never Had The Time (out January 22nd).

What you do get with Never Had The Time, is a record chock full of heartfelt, uplifting country-infused folk rock.  And it's hard to turn off.

"Better Man" careens from one side to the other in an infectious tilt that reminds you why it's good to be alive.  Even when referencing death, as on "Epitaph", the band have a knack for bringing you the bright side.

The title track and "Good Morning Sunshine" are elegant, sophisticated country folks that you would expect from an accomplished veteran band like Blue Rodeo, rather than a group on it's second shot.  That comparison is reaffirmed with "Oona Jean", a reflective number brimming with organ and twang.

Amps are cranked up for the Southern Rock anthem "Sweet Darlin", with it's booze-fueled ode to love gone astray.

With nary a weak track to be found, Never Had The Time should propel Portage & Main to great heights, and help rescue folk music from it's seeming rut of mediocre poetry set to boring music.

Best tracks: "Better Man", "Sweet Darlin"

Track listing for Never Had The Time:
  • Never Had The Time
  • Better Man
  • Oona Jean
  • As A Child
  • Epitaph
  • Lied To Me
  • Good Morning Sunshine
  • Sweet Darlin
  • This Old Heart
  • It Is You

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