Album Review: Chris Shifflett – Lost At Sea

3/5

Chris Shiflett proved he could play punk rock with the best of them as guitarist for No Use For A Name and Me First And The Gimme Gimmes. His rock chops are also well established as one third of the guitar army that makes up the Foo Fighters, one of the last great guitar bands still standing. So, it doesn’t seem that odd that he would aim for Americana and Country Rock with his solo efforts—with nothing else left to prove.

Across four albums dating back to 2010, Shiflett has flirted with everything from Outlaw Country and Honky Tonk to the Bakersfield sound. His latest, Lost At Sea, continues in that same vein with mixed results. Admittedly it was always going to be tough to top 2019’s Hard Lessons, his best solo effort to date.

The album opens with “Dead And Gone,” a fun CCR-inspired rocker about living long enough to see those around you die, a decent enough rocker but what follows is a little underwhelming. All the songs here are solid enough, but given his upbringing in Santa Barbara, CA, you can’t get over the feeling that all of this feels a little like country cosplay, even down to the vocals. There was an authenticity to his earlier solo albums that, despite being in a genre he was not well known for—Americana—they seemed to come from a genuine place.

But songs like “Black Top White Lines,” “Carrie Midnight Texas Queen” and “Where’d Everybody Go” just seem like Shiflett’s impression of someone raised in Alabama or the Hill Country in Texas. It’s not that it’s necessarily bad, just a little uninspired. There are exceptions, like on the catchy “Burn The House Down” and the surprisingly touching ballad “I Don’t Trust My Memories Any More,” both of which are worth downloading if you aren’t willing to shell out for the whole album.

While Lost At Sea is not a bad effort, there are definitely stronger albums out there for those looking for their Shiflett fix.

Purchase this album.

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