Canadian singer/songwriter Doug Paisley described his third album ‘Strong Feelings’ as “a lot less simple and unadorned than other recordings I’ve made, but it’s just as earnest and straightforward.” Whilst this may be a key to his success he also displays a self-assuredness, the hallmark of someone very comfortable in their work. There are many highlights and some beautiful moving moments throughout but it’s the combination of that smooth delivery and bitter-sweet lyrics that stick with you long after the song is over that make this an album worthy of the extra attention.
There are some beautiful highlights with ‘Our Love‘ taking to the fore…talking the everyday language of love, companionship and familiarity: “Our love is the same as it ever was” which he mirrors against natures never-ending cycle “The ice it breaks the midday sun, in springtime when the river runs, that same old bird sings its same old song anew“. His lyrics have a wonderful longevity, simple yet poignant and familiar to the listener.
There are some re-appearances from the likes of Garth Hudson (The Band) who is back again on Hammond whilst Canadian singer-songwriter Mary Margaret O’Hara provides the perfect female vocal duties on the laid back It’s Not Too Late (To Say Goodbye). The album is well balanced with the more melancholic being offset by an upbeat lift or the quickened pace of the rockin’ To And Fro. The whole package is brought to a neat conclusion on the final duo Because I Love You, a close call to a Carter / Cash moment between Paisley and O’Hara which, like many of these songs, are tinged with a sadness but will leave you with a smile.
Paisley is one of life’s great reflectors and Strong Feelings is filled with just that…something we all struggle with but which he can translate into song so well.
To And Fro
It’s Not Too Late (To Say Goodbye)
Strong Feelings is released via No Quarter Records 21st Jan 2014
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