Label: One Little Indian Release date: 19/04/10 Link: Myspace The fifth album from the folk trio Songdog is by all accounts, pretty bleak. 'A Life Eroding (So Much Sorrow)’ opens the album with brutally honest philosophies sung emotionally by frontman Lyndon Morgans, accompanied by a simple guitar pattern and a single, sobbing string line. “The sun will rise tomorrow like every other day, and I’ll go walking along all the quietest roads.” It is words such as these that prove early on in the record that Songdog still have a talent for crafting affecting stories. ‘Obediah’s Waltz’ is a departure from the opening to the album, having a circus feel to it and sounds entirely bitter and full of resentment. This may seem like a terrible concoction, but it works wonderfully well, the bleak lyrics contrasting with the jovial feel. Songdog don’t seem to stick to one style, A Life Eroding is very much a notebook of ideas, some rough, some polished, some that go together brilliantly and some that don’t. ‘Gene Autry’s Ghost’ is a prime example of this; the lyrics are frank and self deprecating, but seem to be wasted on the music. The delivery on ‘3.30am (Small Talk)’ doesn’t really do the wonderful words justice; at times it seems flat and lifeless. As the album progresses, there’s a horrible directionless feeling. Despite some of the ideas appearing to be different, it feels quite stale and wearing. The songs swing between melancholy and deprecating, but never really offer anything too different. It’s hard to take this album seriously at times, even though I’m sure that’s the point. Or at least I hope it is. On paper, Songdog’s set up should work in full audio brilliance and at times it does, but at others it doesn’t blend together quite as well as first hoped. ‘I Got Drunk and I Wrote You a Poem’ picks up the tone of the album and is one of the highlights with the lyrics telling a sad but charmingly amusing story. “You always did like a pretty face...to sit on.” The vocal delivery on this occasion is perfect and makes the lyrics shine. I’m sure that /I>A Life Eroding could be a rewarding album and worthy of several listens, but at times it is increasingly difficult to get through to the bulk and pure essence of the songs; there’s something stopping the songs reaching their full potential, something that gets harder to whittle away as the record progresses. Each part works well in isolation; well thought out lyrics, delicate instrumentation and mournful delivery. Somehow when these come together, something doesn’t sit quite right. This doesn’t take away from the fact it’s an entertaining album with some genuinely affecting moments, but at times it feels like all of this has been done before. Photobucket