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Rhythm & Views

Greyhound Soul

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From the opening track on Greyhound Soul's latest album, its fifth in 13 years, it becomes clear that the veteran Tucson band is in an introspective place. As a result, listeners who value heartfelt lyrics and sweet, melancholic country-rock will be richly rewarded.

"Time to Come Home" is a seven-minute meditation on the primary, mantra-like lyric, "Yeah, it's time to come home now," with eerie industrial noises and chamber-pop strings framing the minimalist folk-blues stroll.

The band continues to challenge the three-minute pop-song format with the extended songs "Believe" (6:45) and "I'll Wait Around" (8:26), both of which are patiently paced, poetic ruminations on the nature of pain and survival, infused with dark melodic textures that recall the quieter music of Neil Young and Wilco.

Unsurprisingly, among the most prevalent themes on Tonight and Every Night--which boasts a stellar lineup of current and former Greyhound Soul members--are those of troubled love and the fact that interpersonal relationships are, well, complicated.

To communicate this message, singer-songwriter Joe Peña over the years has managed to craft a uniquely expressive instrument from a gruff, bluesy vocal style.

This is especially evident on the world-weary "Do What You Do," in which Peña's protagonist struggles with a willful loved one who "stay(s) up all night making promises"--and even more so in "Layin' Down Lost," during which he sings, "I know love hurts like hell ... again."

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