Before Uncle Lucius recorded their fourth album, The Light, they got out of their record deal. That move may have been crippling for some bands but for Uncle Lucius, it was not. After a decade of slogging it out on the road, the Austin band built a loyal fan base, which happily pledged to help fund its latest record. For listeners, it was a coup. The Light boasts 12 tracks with thought-provoking lyrics and a healthy dose of Americana.
The album opens with its strong title track. Singer Kevin Galloway accompanies himself on acoustic guitar on this introspective number before it takes a darker turn as the band kicks in. He ponders where the light comes from and suggests that "it is not out there, it is in here." Galloway's rich voice emphasizes the song's potent lyrics. The group slows down the pace on "Age of Reason," a song that echoes some of the Rolling Stones' best ballads. The track emphasizes the importance of life experiences, stating "where we come from will never mean as much as where we've been."
Eleanor Whitmore adds strings to "Taking In The View," lending a trippy vibe to this sprawling road song. The track laments what has gone wrong in the world along the way. Strong stuff, both here and throughout the album. The band takes a funky turn on "Ouroboros," with Galloway giving an excellent vocal. This is a track that could easily be on pop radio and shows off the group's versatility.
Guitarist Mike Carpenter handles vocals on "The End Of 118," a harder rocking song than some of the other tracks that sacrifices nothing lyrically. His lighter voice provides a nice contrast to Galloway's warm baritone. Carson McHone offers additional vocals on the country-flavored romp, "No Time Flat." Here the band shows they can shift gears from harder songs and deep introspection to sweet melodies and harmonies.
The record ends on a strong note with "Someday Is A Far Cry." Galloway is in fine voice yet again and the group shifts tempos with ease. The Light finishes as well as it started, with nary a bad track in between.
It's a pity the band had to resort to pledge money to get this record made, but it is a treat for the listener that they did. Uncle Lucius demonstrates fine songwriting chops with meaningful lyrics on The Light.