CD Review: Bobby Long - Ode to Thinking

Bobby Long
Ode to Thinking
Ode to Thinking ( 3:17)  Cold Hearted Lover of Mine( 4:07)  I’m Not Going Out Tonight( 4:34)
 Treat Me Like a Stranger(4:08)  Kill Someone(4:32)  Something Blue, Something Borrowed(3:32) 
Hideaway(4:23) The Dark Won’t Get Darker(4:15)  The Songs the Kids Sing (4:25) 1985(4:20) 
That Little Place(4:52)

I’ve been away for a while. I went to China, got set up in a horrible job teaching out there, had to have four surgeries on my leg not long after I returned, and then went travelling up the coast to Maine and back for a month. With no real internet access in China, and only sporadic WIFI on my trip to Maine I haven’t been able to get any albums reviewed.  After all of that (I’ll spare everyone the crazy stories from my hiatus), I sat down this morning trying to find something different. Most of the albums I looked at had that standard packaged “Nashville sound” that I really wasn’t in the mood for.
Then, I came across this one. The name “Ode to Thinking,” stood apart from the rest. I opened it up, took a look at the song titles and almost discarded this one as well (I had just gone through almost 20 albums, and was getting sick and tired of manufactured music). Some of the titles just seemed to say to me same old, same old. I’m glad I hit play.
Instantly I realized it was the “something different” I’d been searching for. Ode to Thinking, the title track, opens up with a nice acoustic that is truly complemented by the vocals. His poetic lyrics right away grasp my ears where my mind can only think of the majestic songwriting of Bob Dylan.
Cold Hearted Lover of Mine caught me off guard. Long’s raspy vocals and the beautiful melody I didn’t expect from its title. Instead of a rough spiteful song, it transfers into a ballad of longing, loss, and tearful remembrance. I’m Not Going out Tonight picks up the pace with a ghoulish guitar and bass sound placing you beneath a blood red moon dancing around a bonfire howling in harmony with the pack.   
If the previous song had you dancing in madness in the night, Treat Me Like a Stranger, is that next morning waking up with the smoke spewing off the embers at first sunrise. The oil painting of tents standing, covered in dew, bodies beginning to stir from where they fell on the grass, leftover beer cans some half full, some crushed, and a lone bird chirping at the dawn of new life.
In Kill Someone the blues harp is introduced. There is a real “wild west” sound and a storyline to back it up. The song has an almost slow motion galloping guitar with synthesized sounds that have that eerie, ghoulish feeling where you can picture an old graveyard with a sign half hanging off an old archway housing a wrought iron door creaking in the wind.
I’m lucky to have black lights in my room, because in the middle of the night I’m writing this.  Something Blue, Something Borrowed in my personal opinion so far is one of the best songs I have listened to in a long time. As I began to play it, I just had to sit back and enjoy it in the late night glow.
I listened to the rest of the album and unlike most others, I couldn’t find a song I didn’t like. Which is unusual on any album, it was a perfectly put together and produced. The lyrics, the music behind them, the level of production all left me breathless at times. I can only refer to this album as a masterpiece.
Jeremy Frost- Country Music News International

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