Rob Lincoln 2014
300 pieces, all going for the titular price and running for more than 18 hours, or a melodic smorgasbord.
Unlike many frustrated songwriters out there, New Jersey’s Rob Lincoln is a mover. 40 years since he first married words to a tune, the singer-songwriter packs all his creations on a DVD, together with lyrics and chords to each one in case an artist wants to cover some, yet gives the listener an easy option of not choosing chronological or random order but sticking to a sampler CD instead. These are not the best cuts, he warns – a perspective may change given the collection’s long gestation and duration – still, there’s enough variety in the 23 tracks to become interested in the rest of Lincoln’s oeuvre.
The songs’ subject matter spanning such conceptually different aspects of life as personal growth, uncovered in the kids-oriented, Dylan-nasal philosophical fable “Lonely Pumpkin,” and commercial harassment – lambasted in the harmonica-wetted “Telemarketer Blues,” but the melodies render them equally compelling. The storytelling hits its peak in the folk flow of “Alfred Packer” in which the only American ever convicted for cannibalism offers his take on what happened in Colorado in 1873-1874, whereas “Vampire” injects the violin-chilled theatrical gloom in the heart of it all. So it’s not dry, guitar-and-vocals on display, the contemplative ballad “All In One Day” and effervescent, if also slow, “So Far Away From Home” pouring the ’60s psych into the mix, while the fuzz of “Silvery Sea” with its wild solo or “13th Floor” will appeal to THE BLACK KEYS followers.
That’s why the magnetic jangle of “Nowhere” is tongue-in-cheek: if one’s up for a good song to cover, there’s the direction – $15 for 300 pieces to choose from adds to the adventure of exploration.