LIFTED FROM Reigning Sound's mighty pleasing new long player Shattered, Never Coming Home shows voice and songwriter Greg Cartwright’s art in wondrous miniature. Here is the sound of sweet yet utter defeat, with a soupçon of I Can’t Control Myself by The Troggs and early Van Morrison, plus heartfelt cello and violin from Jack White’s pals The Memphis Dawls. The lonesome schmuck everyone’s been at one time or another will return a wince of recognition at the narrator’s predicament. But at least he got to love before losing.
With its consciously archaic references to long distance calls – and its tragedian’s lament, “this old mask, it don't suit me now, so I’ll take a bow” – Never Coming Home (recorded at Daptone’s Brooklyn studio) could have been on the radio at any time in the last, oh, 45 years. Yes, that good: like Mr. Kipling and his cakes, Mr. Cartwright does pen some exceedingly good songs. Check the latest crop on Shattered on July 15!