Good Light, the fourth release from Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors, features a dozen tracks that, broadly speaking, range from upbeat to cheery.
“Another Man’s Shoes” kicks things off with an effortless feel, recalling a similar sense of phrasing one might find in a Mason Jennings song. Holcomb’s wife, Ellie, lends a soulful punch on vocals before it returns to the chorus: “Everyone’s got their own set of troubles / Everyone’s got their own set of blues / Everyone’s got their own set of struggles / Walk a mile in another man’s shoes.”
The quartet from Tennessee has a tender touch in crafting songs, and the prettiest of the bunch may be “Wine We Drink.” The tune begins with Holcomb offering vulnerable vocals while softly plucking at his 1934 Gibson Archtop, as his wife later joins in with breathtaking—and breathy—vocals.
“Nothing Like a Woman,” the lone “rocker” on the release is a nice boot-scootin’ tune, with straight ahead stomping from the bass and drums accompanied by light honky tonk on the piano.
Good Light succeeds in flashes of minimalistic beauty, but falls short of delivering a knockout punch. The simplest explanation is the lyrics leave little to the imagination (See “I love you, I do”). By avoiding imagery and metaphor almost entirely, Holcomb does a fine job describing where he’s at, but falls short of transcending a particular context. This saccharine, heart-on-the-sleeve style of songwriting is kind of like a stick of gum: nice, kinda refreshing, but of fleeting resonance.