It has been a few years since we had the ability to hear Lift to Experience, but they were a bright light at the beginning of the last decade. In the last few years, Pearson has been honing eir craft. 2011’s Last of the Country Gentleman is eir first solo effort, but the keen edge created over the last decade immediately will strike listeners. The album begins with “Thou Art Loosed”, a track that firmly stands out as a strong “how do you do”, a great update to any fan that has been around and was lucky enough to cut eir teeth on Lift to Experience.
“Sweetheart, I Ain’t Your Christ” is the track where I feel that Pearson truly gets footing.
A track that expands upon traditional conceptions and expectations that one will have regarding the full-length album, “Sweetheart” is a track that will appease fans of early country music as well as a sort of Bright Eyes-styled folk. The eclectic nature of Pearson on “Last of the Country Gentlemen” is something that requires numerous lessons to properly understand. While each of the album’s seven cuts can be enjoyed separately, Pearson crafts the album almost like a srmon. Owing much to eir upbringing (eir father was a preacher), there are a number of distinct threads that are weaved through the entirety of the album.
The quality of “Last of the Country Gentlemen” is such that it makes up for any lack of material for Pearson; what is contained deep in the layers and sounds broached here will give listeners a tremendous amount of replay value. No matter where they are on the album, early or late, fans will be able to sink their teeth into the unique stylings of Pearson. As strong on “Drive Her Out” as ey was during “Woman When I’ve Raised Hell”, there is not a weak moment to be had here.
Top Tracks: Thou Art Loosed, Honeymoon’s Great! Wish You Were Her
Josh T. Pearson – Last of the Country Gentlemen (CD) / 2011 Mute / 7 Tracks / http://www.joshtpearson.co.uk / http://www.mute.com