Singer-Songwriter Finally Delivers His ‘Difficult’ Third Album…after 43 years!
When I received this CD I instantly recognised the name Emitt Rhodes; but after reading his bio can’t think why. I guess I must have seen him on The OGQT back in my younger days; I did watch it like a religious zealot.
Let’s start with the cover; a cold, grey portrait of a man that looks like Jimmy Page being cast as Santa Claus; yes….I would have picked that picture out of the rack; regardless of the music on the disc.
In fairness the opening song; Dog on a Chain isn’t as ‘instantaneous’ as I like and is an odd choice; as its a sad song about a relationship breakdown; but without a hook or an attention-getting melody. Sadly; Rhodes just sounds like he’s feeling sorry for himself.
Thankfully the mood picks up with a bit of a rocking and rolling If I Knew Then; which follows. It’s far from being a happy go lucky dance tune; but the pop-jazz beat and lyrics about another (or the same) relationship breakdown; make the singer a more sympathetic character.
This theme continues throughout Rainbow End; and perhaps there’s a clue in the title; so I shouldn’t have been too surprised when the misery piles even higher on I Can’t Tell My Broken Heart and What’s A Man To Do? (Opening verse – ‘Long I’ve anguished/And set aside/What little’s left/Of my foolish pride/I’m feeling empty/Hollow inside.’)
Some of these sad songs are genuinely well crafted and Rhode’s soft but expressive voice gets inside your head; with Someone Else being the best song here by a Country mile; it’s just having so many songs on the same gloomy theme makes the album a very difficult thing to listen too…..unless this is what you are going through and you too feel the need to wallow in your own misery.
SPOILER ALERT! If you stick around long enough; just like It’s a Wonderful Life, thankfully there is a happy and more positive ending.
Friday’s Love uses the end of the working week as a metaphor for finding ‘second love’ or ‘love later in life’ and; while it’s not a happy-clappy tune; the title track Rainbow Ends has Rhodes; still with a broken heart, continuing to ‘Always chase Rainbow Ends/Head up in the clouds.’ Which isn’t a bad way top live life; even if the very last line is ‘But my eyes are open now.’
Released February 26th 2016