Canadian vocalist Paul Laine has had a long and varied career as a solo artist and in the rock act Shugaazer, but is probably best known for his time as frontman for Danger Danger. Laine took over from original singer Ted Poley and spent a decade with the band. After a period working on other projects at his studio he returned to the limelight in 2014 as frontman for Darkhorse and released the excellent ‘Let It Ride’ album.
‘Let It Ride’ features ten tracks of high quality country rock in the vein of Keith Urban etc. First single and video ‘In The Country’ sets the scene with a strong vocal from Laine, some nice rocking guitar moments but with a lyrical content and instrumentation that makes this, unmistakably, a country record. I especially like the extended instrumental ending which is a nice touch. Interestingly one look at the video for this track will remind viewers that this is, very much, a rock act. Think My Chemical Romance rather than Brad Paisley.
Lyrically the album seems to look back and reminisce about growing up, coming of age and mistakes made along the way. Sometimes in a melancholy way on the lilting ‘What She Meant To Me’ or the more upbeat, future single ‘I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For The World’. Another highlight is the epic ballad ‘Strong’ a countrified arena, lighters in the air, moment featuring some cool harmonies and a superb vocal from Laine. The flipside of this is best served by album closer the energetic ‘Let It Ride’ which sounds exactly like it should.
‘Let It Ride’ is a really strong album with a good range of material expertly performed. I found that the ballads especially stayed with me but then I might just be getting old.
‘Let It Ride’ is available from Amazon or direct from the band.