Review: Pentley & The Lucid Dreamers – Rip Out My Heart

Artist: Pentley & The Lucid Dreamers
Album: Rip Out My Heart (LISTEN)
Released: Sept. 23, 2016
Genre: Folk/Soul/R&B

Check out Pentley & The Lucid Dreamers at The Wooden Match in Bethlehem, Friday night beginning at 10 p.m.

I first met Pentley Holmes earlier this month at Roi & The Secret People’s show on December 3 at The Funhouse. After getting formally introduced, he handed me a copy of his album, “Rip Out My Heart.” He suggested, when I sat down to review the album, that I pay attention to the album’s artwork – particularly, the expression on the girl’s face – as it holds a key to the theme of the release.

pentley-and-the-lucid-dreamers-girl-face

Keeping the girl’s look of half-in, “let him down gently” disillusionment in mind (while her counterpart has quite literally served up his heart), I can tell you that Pentley & The Lucid Dreamers have expertly delivered eight tracks that tell the story of a man burned by a love that was seemingly unrequited from the beginning.

Opening track “Lonely” sets a cautiously hopeful tone, even if rooted in the presumably false assumption that the object of our protagonist’s affection is, indeed, as lonesome as he believes. By the time we reach “Betty,” we can gather that Pentley has discovered his love interest to be going in a different direction, as the tune’s lyrics openly criticize her decisions and the people believed to be affecting them.

Later, the title track looks at the relationship in a more reflective state; one where the singer seems to pin the blame on himself for things not working out.

Sonically, “Rip Out My Heart” draws on influences from the early days of rock and roll, giving the album a true vintage feel. Hints of blues exist in the guitar work (take closing track “The Devil,” for example), while Pentley’s vocals are clean and soulful with an R&B edge.

Track listing:
Lonely
Shape Up
Talk
Betty
Saving Kisses
Rip Out My Heart
Reasons
The Devil

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