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Sep 13, 1:02 PM EDT

Music Review: Soaring vocals but so-so songs on the Lone Bellow's latest album, 'Walk Into a Storm'



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The Lone Bellow, "Walk Into a Storm" (Descendant/Sony Music Masterworks)

Despite soaring vocals, the Lone Bellow's third album only briefly takes off.

Dave Cobb produced "Walk Into a Storm," and it's weighed down with thick arrangements built on keyboards rather than guitar and mandolin. A string section sounds syrupy as it echoes The Verve.

Another culprit is the material, which doesn't quite match the high standard of the Lone Bellow's previous work. The Nashville-based trio tinkers with tempo in interesting ways, but as it focuses on hearts breaking and broken, a certain sameness sets in. Five of the first six songs mention feet - sole music.

Even so, "Walk Into a Storm" has its moments, thanks to the Lone Bellow's distinctive voices. The album's best cuts are rooted Sunday morning, and the angelic harmonies of Zach Williams, Kanene Pipkin and Brian Elmquist generate a gospel glow.

The opener "Deeper In the Water" has spiritual fervor, "May You Be Well" is prayerful, and "Feather" will rock the band's true believers. But much of the 10-song set is predictable and unlikely to win many converts.

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