by Thomas Bedward October 31, 2022
A talented Utah recording artist, The Real Doug Lane has been kicking up the dust and delivering his unique take on modern Americana for some time now, reaching audiences across the United States and championing timeless, meaningful releases. An award-winning artist and Army veteran, he rose to prominence through his debut album, ‘Water From the Stone’, and now, four years on, he’s back in the spotlight with his highly anticipated sophomore record, ‘Pocket Full of Pills’.
Throughout all of Doug’s music, he’s kept true to his conscience and what matters most to him, creating an authentic sound that speaks straight from the heart. His latest album is thankfully no different, with Doug delivering thirteen original tracks that explore homelessness, shifting relationships, war, longing, hopelessness, and more.
Opening with ‘It’s Not Unusual’, Doug delivers a bold contrast between the serene sounds of nature and a cataclysmic crash, leaving you hanging in a moment of awe before he enters the fray with a subtle, building guitar line. It’s a gorgeous opening, steeped in atmosphere, and creating the perfect foundation for his soft, crooning vocals that glide into frame. A stunning introduction that won’t be soon forgotten, the track echoes through poignant lines like “it’s not unusual, but that don’t make it right”, which classic guitar licks flow in the foreground.
As the album continues, ‘We Are’ brings a far more upbeat sound, revelling in bright acoustic guitar and Doug sweetly sung vocals, before ‘Outlaws, Lovers, and Home’ doubles down on bright, piano-led balladry, shining through dual vocals and a heart of hold. The title track continues to shift in sound, this time offering a lighter take on mental health and antidepressant use steeped with ukulele and cello notes. It’s a short, bright song that slowly moves to a darker tone, with Doug calling out “don’t give up on me” against a slow, piano backdrop.
It's clear, even at the early stages that Doug has poured his heart and soul into the album, and his ability to explore darker themes through brighter sounds constantly catches you off guard, making the weight of the lyrics even more impressive. In ‘One Nickel Coffee’, Doug treats us to another glimpse into the every day before embarking on a journey through old-world diners and stained coffee cups, while ‘This Ain’t Goodbye’ hits as a pop-infused highlight, seamlessly blending flickering piano keys with tempered percussion and the hope that dreams can come alive again.
As the closing songs fade into view, songs like ’22 Brothers’ stand firm as final highlights, sweeping you away in an instant, while Doug’s cover of Rich Mullin’s ‘Not as Strong’ proves that Doug can take any song and make it his own.
On Doug’s social media pages, he says “I write and perform music. Some is very country; some is very not. But all of it is very me,” and in truth, that’s a perfect summation of ‘Pocket Full of Pills’, something that is varied, surprising, and often rustic, but always true to the artist. An album that can easily be enjoyed by everyone, Doug’s sophomore album is a heartfelt triumph.
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by Thomas Bedward November 24, 2022
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