Welcome back, boys.
Jim, Greg, Bazil, Glenn, and Bob Egan have returned (what happened to Bob Packwood?) with what may well be their best album since Five Days In July. A double CD and also a double LP, The Things We Leave Behind sounds like the young Blue Rodeo, the Blue Rodeo of the 90's, the Blue Rodeo that gave us those massive monumental songs.
I've been a fan of this band since the second album, and I've followed them with loyalty since first seeing them live in '91. Speaking personally I think the band peaked with Five Days (in 1993) and produced two more amazing studio records after that: the very underrated Nowhere To Here and the mellow Tremolo. Since then, there have been good albums, in particular 2002's Palace Of Gold, but nothing that blew me away like the 90's material.
That's all changed. The band has regained some kind of focus on The Things We Leave Behind. 16 songs, and I really can't say for sure that any of them are weak. There's more identity to each song this time, where on some of the previous albums the songs started to just fade together.
With a Blue Rodeo album you always know you're going to get some stellar playing, and indeed there are some spontaneous firecracker solos here as well and lots of great piano and keys. All that means nothing without good songs, and I hope this album does well enough that Blue Rodeo will be playing these songs live for a long time. Psychedelia, 60's rock, balladeering, even Beatles-like moments abound. For some reason I think John Lennon would like this album.
Best songs: Greg Keelor's title track, Jim Cuddy's "Last Light Left In Heaven".
Good work boys, can't wait to see you on the road! Five stars.