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Division of Laura Lee
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Bob Schneider
Lonelyland

by Samuel Barker
July 21, 2001

File Under: Roots Rock
rating: A-
tracks

1. Metal & Steel

2. Big Blue Sea

3. Jingy

4. Bullets

5. The World Exploded Into Love

6. Round & Round

7. Moon Song

8. Madeline

9. Tokyo

10. Under My Skin

11. Blue Skies For Everyone

12. Better 

13. 2002

14. Oklahoma

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  • Bob Schneider
  • Bob Schneider has been a staple face in the Austin music scene for quite a few years. He's been one of the shining stars in a stellar scene. I first heard him with the Ugly Americans and have also heard a lot of his other bands. He's a gifted musician and talented songwriter. This solo effort, Lonelyland is a testament to these talents.

    The album opens with "Metal & Steel" which is an abstract tale of making yourself hard in order to cope with the loss of someone you love. The music is rather down sounding which fits the lyrical mood. It's not quite what I expected to hear from the ex-Ugly American, which makes it a bit of more fun.

    "Big Blue Sea" comes with a more jazzy, bluesy feel. It's got a definite bounce to it. It's remeniscent of a Van Morrison song. Schneider is really stepping into his own with sounds on this album.

    The sound keeps evolving with "Jingy." It's got an overloaded G. Love And Special Sauce feel to it. When you hear these tracks it's hard to believe Schneider came out of the Austin music scene with this great blend of sounds. The guitar solo is cutting, it has a good flavor to it. Wow!

    The mood soon shifts into a folky feel with "The World Exploded Into Love." This is the first trace of Austin in this album. The organ makes the song come together well. At moments the organ sounds almost like a theramin with the pulsing glow of sound.

    The rotation sounds of this album make for a very interesting listen. You can feel a lot of different people's influences over the album, and it's refreshing to see an artist willing to explore a lot of different sounds on a single album. "Moon Song" follows this suit with it's almost Jimmy Buffet-style guitar work and the addition of percussion. Nice touch.

    "Under My Skin" delivers a more abstract rock feel. It's still got the jazzy feel through the sweet rolling basslines. Sometimes the bass is overdriven on the album and that gets a little annoying at time, but once you allow everything to blend together, you can't help but be taken with flow.

    The album closes with "Oklahoma." This track is an epic at more than 7 minutes. It's really a good easy rock song. It's got a bounce, Schneider's vocals are full of soul, and the mood is upbeat. The production on this album is superb. It's a rough mix that gives the sound a real roots rock feel. The feeling and the soul are definitely there on this album.

    Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.

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