Blues Rock, Pop Rock, Soft Rock Review: Stephen Bishop-We’ll Talk About It Later In The Car

Release Date: August 30, 2019
Label: ABC, Warner Bros, MCA

Intricate storytelling and impassioned instrumentation shine through the nostalgic fog of Stephen Bishop’s latest album. Over a generous 45-minutes Bishop presents us with a time capsule to the past, a time when songwriting and soul were the cornerstones of quality music. The cover art depicts a younger Bishop, this references how most songs on the album were written at the beginning of his career. If you don’t mind a bit of melancholy and you’re looking for an album to cozy up with over these coming winter months, then this could be the one for you. Bishop has spent his lengthy career rubbing shoulders with some of the most talented musicians the industry has to offer, writing songs for innumerable performers including Art Garfunkel, Barbara Streisand, and Eric Clapton. With Bishop’s wordsmanship prompting two Grammys and an Oscar nomination, there’s no doubt that he’s one of this generation’s more talented songwriters. The only question I had coming into this album was, did he save enough of the magic for himself?

The opening track, “Almost Home” is a triumphant, hopeful combination of thumping drums, mellow guitar, and folksy lyrics. Its ambiance and cadence perfectly capture the elation of the final stretch of a voyage. The chorus on this tune is incredibly catchy, so prepare to be singing this one aloud around the house.

Storytelling is at the fore on “Like Mother, Like Daughter.” This jaunty song features a twanging banjo and country-style guitar, as Bishop’s blissful vocals examine the phenomenon of children growing up to be versions of their parents. This superb song would be a narrative highlight on many other albums, but Bishop outdoes himself on “In Love With a Violent Man.” On this poignant, heartbreaking track, the artist explores the desperately sad and incendiary subject of domestic violence. Over a haunting, somber piano the lyrics delve into forgiveness, empathy, and regret. This is a truly complex and unique gem of music.

Bishop’s proficiency isn’t limited to profound, thought-provoking tales however, his performances across this album demonstrate how multi-faceted his skill set is. Take “I Don’t Know Enough About You” for example, a bluesy swing with a light, carefree, fun feel. Or “French Postcards,” a song which encapsulates the romantic, wandering, ‘promeneur’ concept of Parisian culture. And the final track “Tinseltown,” a song reminiscent of Hall & Oates at their peak, which lays out a nostalgic, idealized view of Hollywood.

Perhaps a few tracks on this album could have been more pertinent if recorded at the time of their writing, but their release will surely please Bishop’s fandom to no end. We’ll Talk About It Later In The Car is a thoroughly enjoyable listen which shares a glimpse into the mind of a young artist overflowing with creativity, who forty years after his debut, still has stories to tell.

Key Tracks Include: “Almost Home,” “Like Mother, Like Daughter,” and “I Don’t Know Enough About You.”

Nicholas Lane-MuzikMan.net Staff

September 16, 2019

New Age Music Reviews

01. Almost Home
02. In Dreams I Fly
03. One In A Million Girl
04. Someone Else
05. Like Mother Like Daughter
06. A Million Little Pieces
07. In Love With a Violent Man
08. The Day You Fall In Love With Me
09. I Don’t Know Enough About You
10. Nora June
11. French Postcards
12. Tiny Pillow
13. Tinseltown

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