Bob Lind/Something Worse Than Loneliness/ACE Records
3.5 Out of Five Stars
Known almost exclusively—at least early on—for his massive hit single “Elusive Butterfly,” singer/songwriter Bob Lind made a comeback of sorts at the age when most people tend to retire. His return was initiated by a 2006 concert collection called Live at The Luna Star Cafe, and it served to revitalize his musical career a few years later courtesy of several studio albums produced in partnership with Jamie Hoover, a power-pop wunderkind best known for his work with the Spongetones.
The duo’s latest collaboration, Something Worse Than Loneliness, shows that the partnership is in fine form even some six years after Lind’s last album, Magellan Was Wrong. Having renewed his prolific prowess, Lind offers a series of mostly upbeat melodies that belie the lowly trappings of his original signature song. No longer the forlorn folkie, he takes a genuinely jovial approach shared in the upbeat attitude of “Roll the Windows Down,” the overall optimism of “Wrong Again,” the brassy inflections of “Back To Me In Memphis,” and the jaunty dynamic that informs “How Can You Go.” The latter hints at some sense of remorse, and along with the album’s acapella intro (Yes I’m lost without you/But I’m used to being alone), one might come to suspect that Lind’s loneliness, as referenced in the title, is in fact, of true concern.
Happily then, that downcast opening doesn’t diminish what follows. Despite being on the cusp of his 80th birthday, Lind sounds positively jubilant, his vocals conveying effusive energy that could rival a man anyone a third his age. It also overshadows any sense of remorse or regret. Lind has a natural infinity for radio-ready pop, but it’s also apparent that Hoover’s had an effect on him as well. Granted, Something Worse Than Loneliness has ominous implications, but in truth, it’s an album that might just bring him a whole new audience of admirers.