Out of the altar and into the fire: Swedish songwriter serves up an observation of social decay.
Whether it’s a global or a singular view, the stark setting of Sant’s second album suggests not an abandoned city but a gunslinger’s repentance right after a killing spree whence no-one gets alive. Recorded in the artist’s local church, it holds no gallop, though, and when the country road becomes rocky, like in “Make Love To Guns ‘N’ Roses,” you get a fleeting suspicion that the bedroom action’s going to be soundtracked by “Paradise City.” He may reach for Heaven in the hymnal ascension of “Oh Lord”, yet Bobby’s world is bleak, American Gothic-way, if vibrant and somehow romantic as far as the lovelorn opener “Ride The Black Train” goes. So much for an invitation, repeated in the title track.
Accompanied with acoustic guitar, piano and an occasional cello that adds fuel to the dim fire of “My Own Hell Inside”, Sant’s voice is assertive, while his message rolls in an alienating way until “City Sky” flutters alluringly and you feel like joining this flight. The spirituality scope grows immensely in “3000 Skies”, at which point the gravity of it all turns into gravitation, even though one could do without the Johnny Cash gravel of “Letter 44” opposing the initial Nick Drake-like lightness. In the end, a dead-raising promise blinks blindly – it’s time for Bobby Sant’s ghost town to come to life.