Named after a mountain in the Lake District, the new offering from Liverpool singer-songwriter Scott Russell (for Rusts is he) doesn’t start well. Opener “Luck Be a Lady”, from its clichéd title to its wimpy delivery, ticks all the wrong boxes. Indeed, does the world really need yet another musician bemoaning lost love and his dreadful life - the subject matter of this album?
“Can’t Stop” (“thinking about her”), “Never Break My Heart”, “The Man I Was”, “Conscientious guy”, it’s a parade of personal pain that’s been done a million times before. Heartfelt for sure, but who needs it?
Russell does have some points in his favour though. His arrangements are exquisite, he can write a tune, and his music is a wistful waft across the listener’s consciousness. The title track is much heavier, a mighty instrumental enhanced by some lovely plucked guitar. Only twice however does everything come together. The closing “Just Remember, You Are Not Alone” is a rare ray of life-affirming positivity, and the lovely “On Your Side”, where the naked honesty of the lyrics is beautifully undercut by a gorgeous tune, rises above the general pathos.
Russell has talent but needs a broader focus if he is to rise above the hordes of singer-songwriters who’ve trodden, and continue to tread, this particular path.