Elegant theatricality sees British band up their game and somewhat lose their face.
When this band returned into action, after a 7-year leave, with 2012’s "Indian Summer", it was a molasses kind of delight that perfectly caught the spirit of autumn. “Nashville” is an altogether different proposition not only because of its Tennessy provenance and the elite country instrumentalists who played with the likes of Roy Orbison and Dolly Parton and back Liz Lenten here – so AUBURN ain’t so much of a collective now – but also style-wise. Now, their erstwhile sincere intimacy has made room for camp delivery more suitable for vaudeville than a quiet evening on the porch.
So while “Sitia Bay” sends the listener to Greece and “If You Knew” switches to French, their bubbling bluesy purr doesn’t provide the same sensual panorama as the lyrics do, and, unlike the vibrant “Pride Is A Thief,” the steel guitar wash of “Hurting” barely contains any anguish. With just a six-string lace under that smoky voice in “Leaving Day” or “Butterfly,” emotions go much deeper, whereas the organ-spiked “Crazy People” is a perfect pop pastiche thrown from the past to the present. But there’s some hushed rocking to enjoy, in the predatory jive of “Full To The Brim” and in the unhurried boogie chorus of “Let’s Start Over.” Maybe, that is a good idea, as continuing down this path can turn AUBURN, still a special treat, into a regular Americana vendor.