Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
Turn Off the News (Build a Garden) (Fantasy Records)
Reviewed by Abby Johnston, Fri., Aug. 16, 2019
Lukas Nelson's first release since A Star Is Born vaulted him into the national consciousness delivers for both the newly initiated and the faithful. Fifty-minute follow-up to his self-titled 2017 breakout, Turn Off the News (Build a Garden) genre hops with ease, but the first quarter hews close to his roots-rock background. The bright guitar progressions of "Bad Case" jangle pure Tom Petty, and the soaring balladry of "Where Does Love Go" sounds like Willie Nelson's second youngest is auditioning to be a Wilbury. "Lotta Fun" marks the start of a brief country turn, sealed by a sweet duet with Nelson family favorite Margo Price. "Mystery," one of the album's few acoustic cuts, features dear ol' dad picking Trigger. The scion sounds most at ease on the album's back half, which burns with guitar solos. After a full-band maelstrom closes "Out in LA," Nelson concludes, "That was some magic. There's some magic there."