New York, by way of England, singer songwriter Bobby Long has turned in a strong, vulnerable record for his fourth effort, Sultans. Spanning 10 tracks, Long channels everyone from Elliott Smith and Al Green to Dylan for an emotional, at times soulful journey that covers the themes of all great folk artist: love, lost love and the inevitable heartache, the staples of a great soundtrack for the lonely.
Far from being just another record in the Sad Bastard cannon of music, Long’s shrewd lyrics help him stand out from others just peddling simple break up songs. Not every song here is perfect; Occasionally, he comes off as a little too earnest (like on “Crazy”), but for every misstep, there are three or four more smartly-written tracks, like “Nautical” or “Goodbye” that make up for the stumble.
The record open with “Sultans I” and closes on the expansive “Sultans II” tying the album together nicely.