Bob Lind ‘Something Worse Than Loneliness’ Album Review

Bob Lind is into his 7th decade of making music, and in his own words, “this new record represents the best work I’ve ever done.” Since his early success, Lind’s songs have grown in lyrical complexity and musicality.

I have been listening all of this week, with great pleasure, to Bob Lind‘s most recent album, Something Worse Than Loneliness. Released early in 2022, the recording is a couple of years old, but it only came to my attention earlier this month.

The focus for Vivascene has always been music that will last, which is why we’re more likely to feature an album from 1962 as we are from the current crop. It takes time to determine how good a record is. Euphoria over a new release often dissipates with familiarity. Then there’s the music of Bob Lind. He has always been an exception to the rule. He’s into his 7th decade of making music, and in his own words, “this new record represents the best work I’ve ever done.”

His long-time producer (and guitarist, and back-up vocalist) Jamie Hoover, has worked with virtually every interesting musician on the independent scene, from Graham Parker to Richard Thompson to Joe Walsh to Hootie and the Blowfish to Elena Rogers. This man is in demand, but makes the time to work with Bob Lind, Together they have made three masterful recordings, including Something Worse.

I produced the first Bob Lind (Elusive Butterfly and many others) album in 41 years- entitled “Finding You Again”- so far to rave reviews. This and also the follow-up entitled “Magellan Was Wrong” are two VERY important-to-me records! Bucket List projects! ~ Jamie Hoover

We reviewed Finding You Again back in 2012 and picked it as our favourite album of the year. Something Worse Than Loneliness is indeed a better album on three grounds: songwriting, performance, and production. A strong statement, but one that bears up with repeated listening.

Lind has always been a fine writer. The words to his most famous song “Elusive Butterfly” were prominently featured in Richard Goldstein’s The Poetry of Rock, alongside such luminaries of the ’60s as Jackson Browne, Tim Hardin, Paul Simon, and Willie Dixon. ” Lind’s rambling narrative and message are deftly encased within a lyrical shell”, Goldstein wrote.

Since his early success, Lind’s songs have grown in lyrical complexity and musicality. His writing projects have resulted in poetry, stage plays, novels, and a body of songs that has culminated in this new record. The title song sets the stage for what is to follow: lyrical and metaphorical artistry, sung from the heart (a Lind trademark) and an emotional honesty that is seldom found in today’s crop of writers. Tim Hardin had it in spades. So did Fred Neil and Jackson Browne.

What distinguishes Lind’s songwriting is his range. He can be as witty as Mose Allison or Ben Sidran – witness the humour in “How Can You Go?”, and his cheerful optimism in “Roll The Windows Down”. The tours de force, though, are in the understated sadness of “This Day Without You”, and the jazz-inflected beauty of “My Satellite”. Kudos to Jamie Hoover’s truly gorgeous guitar work in these two tracks, as well as the convincing bluesy feeling Hoover brings to “Wrong Again”.

Also worth a special mention is “You Look Like A Girl Again”, a song written by Danny O’Keefe (and the only cover on the record), but one that reveals a deep understanding of what it means to love, and continue to love, despite the inexorable changes that aging brings. Lind delivers the song with acute tenderness. It could easily have been written by him, so well does it fit into his repertoire.

The closing number “Born For This” is an exuberant confession of Lind’s lifelong dedication to songwriting and performing for audiences. He loves it, can’t live without it, won’t live without it. It’s not about money. It never is for a true artist.

Lind made this record in his 80th year, in fine voice, and in his finest lyrical form. Next month he headlines the South Florida Folk and Acoustic Music Festival. I for one wouldn’t be surprised to hear that he has another album in the works. He’s always been the exception to the rule.

Brian Miller

Brian Miller is the Publisher and Editor of Vivascene, which he founded in 2010. A former record store owner, business executive and business writer, he is devoted to vinyl records, classical guitar, and b&w photography.

One comment

  1. Thank you for picking up on Bob Lind’s latest release (what took you so long) and writing your excellent review. I have been a lifetime supporter of his immensely poetic words and songs. He hasn’t been recognized by the acclaim his work deserves in my opinion, but that doesn’t detract from the quality of what the man has produced. Have you heard his third (official) release, Since There Were Circles? That album clearly identified him as an artist unfortunately out of step with the times. In his case, he was ahead of the so-called Southern California Sound. The supporting musicians became a who’s who of the era while Bob retreated to Colorado and essentially abandoned music for awhile. Again, thanks for making him feel “shamelessly proud” of your review. He has more than earned it.

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