Like most country music, Dylan LeBlanc's second album comes with some post breakup baggage, which can equal: A. Great music or B. Depressing music.
But Cast the Same Old Shadow doesn't really ring either bell. It does a nice job at crystallising the mood of a young cowboy who's just had his heart broken and is in desperate need of a drink, a friend and a saloon piano to recover. But it lacks the visceral punch that you would be expecting from a guy who's reportedly had his heart torched like an open fire marshmallow.
First track Part One: The End comes draped in a grey fog of loneliness and regret, but halfway through the album it becomes apparent that things aren't nearly as melancholic as you thought they'd be.
Upon repeated listens you realise there's a gentle upbeat thread throughout, with tracks like Brother, where LeBlanc channels his inner Neil Young, and Comfort Me doing just what the title implies.
But if you were to subtract the slide guitars and twang in his voice, Cast the Same Old Shadow sounds more like Chris Isaak than a near suicidal Ryan Adams.
Also LeBlanc's country style inflections start to grate, giving the impression that he's trying to apply a little too much southern comfort. His smooth vocal tone of smoke and wood would be a treat if he didn't sound like he had a jar of marbles in his mouth.
He has a genuinely interesting voice but it runs a very fine line between purity and parody. It's not a bad album, it's just not a great one either.
Who: Dylan LeBlanc
What: Album Cast the Same Old Shadow
Stars: 3/5 stars