Real Job

This Frontier Needs Heroes

Independent release, 2016

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


In the 3 years since his last album Brad Lauretti - the driving force behind This Frontier Needs Heroes - has been anything but idle. In fact, Real Job, the title of his fourth album, illustrates his unwavering desire to being a professional musician, as Lauretti has played every possible show he could leading up to this new effort.

Much like his previous albums, This Frontier Needs Heroes hosts guests who bring violins, drums, bass, pedal steel, guitars and keys to the party, though the difference here is the sound brings Lauretti and company into a more folky, Americana territory that nods toward Billy Bragg and Woody Guthrie. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The first track, “It Don't Make No Sense”, does make it clear that this album is not for short attention spans; at nearly 7 minutes, this opener brings warm pedal steel and female backing vocals from Sadie Frederick. This strong, soulful beginning is only strengthened by the upbeat and rocking “I Love Immigration”, which exemplifies folk guitars and also boasts soothing violins, and the pro-immigration lyrics point out some truths that even the diehard right would have a hard time arguing with.

Though most of the album is on the calmer side of the equation, songs like “Free Market Music” move at a shuffling pace with harmonicas, and the vintage feel of “My Heart Tells Me Yes” invokes an oldies vibe. Others, such as the yearning pedal steel and percussive driven “Colorado Camping Catastrophe”, are lush and graceful, and “Mountain Laurel Lightning” is breezy country rock that brings to mind The Jayhawks, which could never be a bad thing.

The back half of the album offers the gorgeous backing female vocals of the dreamy “Don't Let The Dreamers Die”, the stripped back “Everyone's In My Dreams”, and the solemn, confessional “I Can't Live Like This Anymore”, which brings to mind early, dark days of Bright Eyes.

If you're not a fan of this sort of campfire-esque folk music and Americana already, it's unlikely that This Frontier Needs Heroes are going to convert you. But if you appreciate very literate, aware and strong musicianship of the genre, this will hit the spot quite nicely.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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