“Dog On A Chain,” the lead-off track, begins as folk (reminding me a bit of Brooks Williams), then kicks in with a kind of mellow rock vibe. This song relates a less-than-ideal look at love and relationships, and it’s a really good track. Here is a taste of the lyrics: “I was led along like a dog on a chain/Out in the cold/Out in the rain/I was led along like a dog on a leash/I did as told while she did as she pleased.” And I love these lines: “Once she praised me/Now she hates me/I can’t see how I have changed.” Excellent, right? Aimee Mann provides some harmony vocals on this track, and Jon Brion plays guitar.
That is followed by “If I Knew Then,” an excellent song with an interesting bluesy hook. This one too takes a look at the darker and lesser side of love. “Wouldn’t give my heart/To just anyone/If I knew then/What was to come/I gave my trust/An act of faith/How could I be so dumb.” I really like the piano work by Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. This is one of my favorite tracks.
“Isn’t It So” has some 1970s soft rock vibes. It’s a sweet song of loss and longing. “I’m still trying to please you/Even though you’re not here/Still talking to you/Even though you can’t hear/And the more I deny it/The more that it’s true/There’s hardly a moment/I’m not thinking of you.” “Someone Else” is another strong track about vulnerability in love. It opens with the lines, “When you tell someone you care a lot/Prepare yourself for a broken heart.” Those lines are so wonderfully depressing. And check out these lines: “I like her so much it makes me ill/And it makes no sense/And it never will.” “Someone Else” was written by Emitt Rhodes and Chris Price. Susannah Hoffs provides harmony vocals on this track. And then Nels Cline (from Wilco) plays guitar on “I Can’t Tell My Heart.”
“Put Some Rhythm To It” is a fun song taking us back to those awkward days of learning to dance and seeking romance. The song has a kind of nostalgic sound, which works so well, transporting us to the 1970s, and it also has a good sense of humor. “At every school dance/I would not strut nor prance/And I seldom left my seat.” Susannah Hoffs provides harmony vocals on this track. That one is followed by “It’s All Behind Us Now,” which has a good groove. It’s about trying to let things from the past remain in the past, while we move on. “Let’s forget those things we said/Say the things we wish we had/Let’s forget those things we did/Do thing right this time instead/It’s all behind us now.” Pat Sansone plays acoustic guitar on this track.
The CD ends with its title track, “Rainbow Ends.” “Always chasing rainbow ends/Head up in the clouds/Thought my dreams would never end/But my eyes, they’re open now.”
CD Track List
- Dog On A Chain
- If I Knew Then
- Isn’t It So
- This Wall Between Us
- Someone Else
- I Can’t Tell My Heart
- Put Some Rhythm To It
- It’s All Behind Us Now
- What’s A Man To Do
- Friday’s Love
- Rainbow Ends
Rainbow Ends is scheduled to be released on February 26, 2016 through Omnivore Recordings.