On Greg Keelor’s solo debut, he kicks back with some mellow tunes and invites the listener in on a personal trip. Blue Rodeo has always done some slow material, but this album is even slower, to an extreme. For example, the lead track “When I See You” starts with some extremely sluggish brush drums, before some spare piano chords come in. When Greg’s voice comes in, he’s whispering.
There are several tracks that play with this tempo on Gone. The first song that breaks pace is “Blue Star” which has some nice mellow tremolo guitar and a typically sweet Greg vocal melody. The next track, “Home” is A capella, a track that I have seen Greg sing live with Blue Rodeo (on the 1998 Tremolo tour). It’s an amazing performance. Greg’s voice, while imperfect, is full of character. It’s the best song on the album, just due to sheer passion. A personal favourite.
“No Landing (Lucknow)” is what you would expect for a Blue Rodeo ballad, another strong track. “White Marble Ganesh” is the one that might leave listeners scratching their heads. As the title suggests, Greg is experimenting with Indian sounds and tabla drums. Very strong vocal hooks abound. This should have been a huge hit! Alas, we don’t live in a perfect world.
Of note to Sarah McLachlan fans: Sarah appears on vocals, piano and even lead guitar on several tracks!
So why only three stars? This CD has five very good songs, those being “Home”, “No Landing (Lucknow)”, “Blue Star”, “Star Of The Show”, and “White Marble Ganesh”. The rest are all in the slow mode, and are just too similar. It’s a great album, a powerful statement, and a glimpse into what Greg Keelor is all about, but unless you are in the right mood you may be bored with the slow stuff.
3/5 (blue) stars