Songs From The Mine
(Majority Of One)
3.5 out of 5 stars
It doesn’t seem to bother Louise Goffin that as the daughter of Carole King and Gerry Goffin, one of history’s most legendary songwriting couples, there might be increased pressure to follow in her parents’ giant footsteps. In fact, after an initial run of three albums of pleasant but hardly earth shaking, mostly original material in the 80s, she laid low, releasing a critically acclaimed comeback in 2002. Goffin worked as producer on her Mom’s Christmas 2012 set which set the gears in motion for this belated follow-up.
It’s a beautifully produced, ballad heavy release that kicks off with a stirring, string enhanced, piano based ballad “Everybody but You,” a widescreen letter of encouragement to a friend that “someday soon, you won’t be crying.” Despite the appearance of a few rockers, one of which “Watching the Sky Turn Blue” features both Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp on backing vocals although you can’t pick either out of the mix, Goffin sticks predominantly to reflective compositions, all of which are co-written with others. Her voice is supple and sweet with an airy edge similar to that of Rickie Lee Jones, especially on the incisive “Sword in Your Heart,” another song that reaches out to a friend in need. She displays her ukulele skills on the innocent “Main Street Parade,” a tune enhanced by tuba and accordion that takes it in a unique direction.
The best of these selections keeps the instrumentation stripped down with “Here Where You are Loved,” a buttery love song that melts into its gorgeous melody. Ditto for “Some of Them Will Fool You” a cautionary lyric that works because of its basic, uncluttered instrumentation and lighthearted production. The closing “The Good Life” feels like older Sheryl Crow with its easy flowing, ’70s California sundrenched musical vibe.
Repeated spins reveal subtleties in the mix and show how effortlessly Goffin’s lyrics and honeyed voice dovetail into tracks that make you wish she would release albums more regularly. Songs From The Mine is a terrific return from an artist who has settled into a comfortable groove and whose best work is likely ahead of her.