HURT NO MORE–FIGURE YOU OUT–TILL WE’RE AFRAID–POISON RAIN–DIAMONDS–RECLUSE–CLOUD OF DUST–CAUGHT IN THE ABYSS–DRIFT–EVERYTHING IS BROKEN–THE BLISTER AND THE PALM–WAIT FOR LOVE–STRIKE (WHEN THE WORLD EATS ITS TAIL)
Farewell Milwaukee has been a vital part of the Minneapolis rock scene since 2008. Their fourth album, “FM,” marks a defining point, as such, in their careers. Now, as well as being musicians, they are also parents, enjoying the juggle of family and career.
We loved the harmonies and the instrumentation on this set, as well as the band’s experimentation with strings and steel guitar, giving the whole affair a lush, full sound. The set starts with a song written by vocalist Ben Lubeck for his daughter, with the “kindness in your big brown eyes” that says “I’m not gonna Hurt No More.” This one also features cool jangly guitars and a Dylan-esque harp break at the bridge.
There are several more outstanding examples of this band’s amazing harmonies that quickly became our favorites. “Till We’re Afraid” traces lovers who have everything “until it rains,” realizing that they’ll always be there for each other. The set closes on a vastly different note. When a love affair has run its course and “there ain’t no metaphor,” sometimes it’s best to just “leave me be.” This one is titled “Strike (When The World Eats Its Tail), and the duet vocals are supplied beautifully by Haley Bonar.
Two songs stood out overall for us, tho. “Diamonds” has a sweet Byrds or Tom Petty feel, about “two things that don’t go hand in hand/like a calculatin’ woman and an honest man.” And, the strings, interspersed with falsetto vocals and the backing chorus, gives “Figure You Out” an ELO-Jeff Lynne groove. Adam Lamoureaux’s keyboard work gives it just the right touch of Memphis soul, too.
Farewell Milwaukee have had a lot of fun over the last near-decade of bringing their heartland rock to a wide audience of fans. Now, with “FM,” they have created some of the best music of their lives, since they now see things in a different light, thru the joys of parenthood. Let this one just wash over you as you enjoy one of Minneapolis’ best bands! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.