MICHAEL STANLEY > The Soft Addictions

Keeping the faith in the heartland-with its closing factories, shrinking margins and flyover invisibility-is a hard way to go. Michael Stanley knows about the brass ring slipping from one’s fingers, and that chagrin of recognition. He has forged a Telecaster-heavy record that balances the will to carnally combust with the hangover of what happened to the American Dream.Label: LINE LEVEL
[RATING: 3.5]

Keeping the faith in the heartland-with its closing factories, shrinking margins and flyover invisibility-is a hard way to go. Michael Stanley knows about the brass ring slipping from one’s fingers, and that chagrin of recognition. He has forged a Telecaster-heavy record that balances the will to carnally combust with the hangover of what happened to the American Dream. Whether it’s sweat-stained geezer down the block “Drinkin’ In the Driveway” or the broad-sweeping elegy of “Back on Lovers Lane,” these are songs that don’t flinch about how bereft life at the margins can be, yet somehow some heroism can still be applied. It’s on the ballad-the legacy of family “Same Blood, Different Vein,” the one you reach for when it’s not the one you’re with you want, “No Rules When You Dream”-that the gravel and courage of one man’s steadfast baritone shines through. A time in some ways gone, but a heart that never goes out of style.


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