There are so many classic hallmarks and cleverly nostalgic moments to be found on Two that it is hard not to think that you have not been listening to John Lindsay’s album for decades. You can’t help but think that these songs exist on a well worn vinyl pressing, call a battered card sleeve home and both alphabetically and generically have the likes of John Martyn and Van Morrison for neighbours in a well-loved music collection.
Often using only the simplest vocal and acoustic guitar lines, he proves that it is the essence of the song that is important and even on tracks such as Hey Yeah or the title track itself when the tempo is lifted and the groove more driven, the instrumentation is just enough to serve the song and nothing more. But it is his more deft and delicate songs which best define the charm of the album. Fly or Fight is both selective and shimmering, One Hundred Thousand is gentle and spacious and She Made Rainbows gets two outings bookending the album with firstly a considered and understated run out and finally rendered in the rhinestones and resonance of the Nashville sound.
It’s an album that not only tips a hat to the past but carries a torch for it too and it is through artists such as John Lindsay that those classic sounds find a new lease of life through new songs, live shows and new audiences. There is a lot to be said for trying new things, trying to invent new styles and fuse desperate genres. But there is just as much to be said for realising that sometimes the work is already done, the genre is fully formed and all it needs is a polish and a touch of paint and it is ready to be taken out for a spin. Two is the sound of the classic, singer-songwriter approach proving once again that old adage that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.