This is probably the strongest and most interesting release that Cara Luft has put out yet, either as a member of the Wailin’ Jenny’s or as a solo performer. Maybe it is because of the personal issues that she had to deal with while recording the album. Many of the songs are intensely personal and hint (occasionally blatantly) at the feelings of betrayal and loss. Other songs showcase the myriad aspects of Luft’s musical personality, be it spiritual singer-songwriter, the folk rock guitarist, the traditional (and neo-trad) folkie. There is also a rare collaboration with her father, Barry, that rated among my favourites, if only because of its novelty.
Another one of the highlights of the album is the musical telling of the story of Romeo Dallaire. Within these songs, the Dallaire tune and the ones that seem to be far more personal in nature, there is evidence of a strong individual fighting her demons and the cards that they have been dealt. That’s what makes this a powerful, uplifting album in spite of some of the material.
This is also one of Luft’s best releases from a strictly musical perspective. She seems to have amassed a greater coterie of cohorts for this release, among them a string quartet, Jesse Zubot (violin), a Hurdy Gurdy and accordion player and many others. These musicians add fuller, more complex sound to Luft’s tunes than I have ever heard.
• Bruce Pollock