Lionel Lodge has most likely written more music than you. He just released his eleventh, yes eleventh album and doesn’t sound like he’s slowing down one bit. It is called The Agitator and Lodge says that it is an Ontario rock album that kicks, stomps and howls. He also says it is an angry album but has a good sense of humor. As I listened I actually rarely felt the anger. As a matter of fact a lot of the album felt upbeat. Lodge in my opinion verbally restricts the appeal of his music by labeling it as rock. The Agitator is quite an eclectic album and also infuses blues into the mix as well as some slight flirtations with punk. Lodge has a unique voice and sounds like a mixture of Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits. I thought his voice was quite enjoyable and fit the music like a glove.
The album kicks off with “The Resurrection of NV,” which is a fun, upbeat song that features an exceptional vocal performance by Lodge. During the verse he quickly talk/sings with a hip swagger that is loose yet effective. There is a definite blues vibe throughout the song that makes the song quite danceable. “Smile” is a straightforward rock tune that is short yet effective while “Little Row Boat” some slick honky slide guitar.
“Shut Down” contains that slight punk rock vibe I was talking about earlier. The opening verse revolves around a couple of distorted power chords that bring to mind The Ramones but I swear at times it sounds as if he is an alternate version of Bruce Springsteen. It’s subtle and I definitely heard it come out during the chorus.
“Rock in My Shoe” is funny yet symbolic and also happens to be one of the highlights on the album. Lodge sings “There's a rock in my shoe and it hurts / There's a rock in my shoe and it hurts / I've been limping around for years / Just choking down the tears / There's a rock in my shoe and it hurts.” The other highlight was “Where Will They Go,” which contains the most anthemic chorus on the album. He repeats the line “Where Will They Go.”
The Agitator is a pretty strong album from beginning to end. Solid songs, good production and a great flow. Eleven albums strong is seems as if Lodge still has a lot to say.
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