Crosby-born singer-songwriter Robert Vincent has been carving out his own niche in the Americana genre the past few years. He released his debut album Life in Easy Steps in 2013 and in 2016 he won the inaugural Emerging Artist Award from Bob Harris. In 2017 he released second album I’ll Make The Most of My Sins and he’s been touring extensively on the live circuit. Three years on from his last record, Robert is back with new album In This Town You’re Owned.
For the 10-track project he’s teamed up with producer Ethan Johns and the album’s central theme is about the pressures life places upon us as society gets more and more socially conscious. It’s clear from a couple of listen throughs of the album that In This Town You’re Owned isn’t an album you can jump into for instant gratification. You need to spend time with each of the 10 tracks to unpack the lyrics and really get into the grit of what Robert is singing about.
The album opens with This Town, a mid-tempo track that gently eases you into the record but poses questions that you’ll think about for the rest of the record. Robert contemplates on how life can get the better of you and you can choose to embrace the hurdles it throws at you or be taken down by them. It’s an important message and one that we’re all guilty of losing sight of at times. The tempo changes for the bouncy rock’n’roll influenced My Neighbour’s Ghost, which brings to might some of Elvis’ more country-leaning moments. It’s a nice change of pace and continues the theme established in This Town.
One of the first highlights on the record comes on The Kids Don’t Dig God Anymore. It digs into Robert’s more soulful side and it’s a gently rousing track that looks at the changing times and beliefs that we’re seeing in society. I like the chance to really hear Robert’s voice in a more stripped-down setting and it’s one of the finest tracks here. Elsewhere on the record Conundrum, one of the tracks that arrived before the album, fills out the production adding elements of rock and a heavier beat, I Was Hurt Today But I’m Alright Now mixes a gentle beat with strong harmonies, and If You Were You feels like a nod back to 70s country sonically.
The album comes to a close with Cuckoo, which sees Robert adding a little gospel into his soul. It’s reminiscent of the recent material from Marcus King and it’s a perfect way to bring the album to an end.
In This Town You’re Owned is an interesting record that doesn’t waste time with filler. It’s lean and better for it, helping to reinforce the overall theme and concept. The album is one for those who like to unpack their music rather than get an immediate buzz so be prepared to spend time with it and listen to it from start to finish. It’s another promising step from Robert and will further help cement his status as one of the UK’s finest Americana artists.
Track list: 1. This Town 2. My Neighbour’s Ghost 3. The Kids Don’t Dig God Anymore 4. The Ending 5. Conundrum 6. Husk of a Soul 7. I Was Hurt But I’m Alright Now 8. The End of the War 9. If You Were You 10. Cuckoo Record label: Thirty Tigers Release date: 14th February 2020 Buy In This Town You’re Owned