Duff McKagan – Lighthouse (2023) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Duff McKagan – Lighthouse (2023)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 40:41 minutes | 498 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © The World Is Flat

LIGHTHOUSE now marks the first full length collection born in McKagan’s private studio with 11 songs ranging in tenor and scope, and broadening the trajectory set on 2019’s TENDERNESS album. “I’ve sort of found my place of comfort on how I like my own music to sound,” McKagan says. “These really are just simple punk songs, laid bare without me screaming. The topics run the gamut, but you shall see and hear that. The idea of starting this record off with an ode to my wife, and ending with an ode to life, codify the two things I love most. I hope you guys dig what you are about to hear… – Duff”

There’s something admirably weird about Duff McKagan releasing an album in 2023. For a man who’s not only locked up his place in rock ‘n’ roll history thanks to being not just an integral part of Guns N’ Roses, but also the only member of that band you’d probably want to hang out with for longer than five minutes, McKagan has nonetheless been a restless rock ‘n’ roller. In addition to his notable side hustles—everything from going to college in his mid-30s to study business (and eventually opening up a wealth management firm focused on rockers as a client base) to writing a sports column for ESPN—he has never been willing to put his musical career on hold as he waits for Axl to call.

Lighthouse is his third solo album, following along from 2019’s Shooter Jennings-produced Tenderness. While this record is built upon far less confessional material than Tenderness, Lighthouse still maintains that record’s combination of open-hearted songwriting and warm-blooded rock ‘n’ roll. (And, on “Longfeather” and “Fallen Ones,” just the right amount of twang.) Although McKagan isn’t the world’s strongest singer—his is still a punk rocker’s howl squeezed into a troubadour’s delivery—his voice crackles with personality and believability. When those vocals are multi-tracked into backing harmonies, the effect is like a punch in the gut.

The arrangements throughout Lighthouse are straightforward—guitar, bass, drums, keys—but they’re richly executed, with thoughtfully layered production that gives them ample body without making them feel overworked. Whether the lyrics are snotty and punk-informed—”Just Another Shakedown” is a gleeful rocker that just happens to be about eating the rich, while “Holy Water” swings luxuriously and a bit sacrilegiously—or more gentle like the straightforward acoustics of “I Just Don’t Know” and the balladry of “Forgiveness,” there’s an authenticity to all of McKagan’s songs that’s refreshing. And, despite the latent grandiosity baked into some of the more arena-ready cuts, for the most part, the performances are pretty nuanced and dynamic, making Lighthouse a surprisingly mature counterargument to all those “rock is dead” naysayers. – Jason Ferguson

01. Duff McKagan – Lighthouse (03:20)
02. Duff McKagan – Longfeather (04:11)
03. Duff McKagan – Holy Water (04:31)
04. Duff McKagan – I Saw God On 10th St. (03:05)
05. Duff McKagan – Fallen (04:21)
06. Duff McKagan – Forgiveness (03:24)
07. Duff McKagan – Just Another Shakedown (02:49)
08. Duff McKagan – Fallen Ones (03:27)
09. Duff McKagan – Hope (04:28)
10. Duff McKagan – I Just Don’t Know (05:27)
11. Duff McKagan – Lighthouse (Reprise) (01:32)


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