Beau Jennings & The Tigers Mix Classic Roots Rock and American on ‘Heavy Light’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

Less than six months after releasing their Feel the Light EP, Oklahoma’s Beau Jennings & the Tigers are back again, this time with a full length entitled Heavy Light. Though a little uneven in places, it’s a decent mix of classic roots rock and modern Americana.

The album opens on the Petty-esque “Sunflower,” a song inspired by a bike ride Jennings took with his wife in Norman, OK. It also happens to be a solid representation of where Jennings and his band are at right now. The music is a slight departure from his time fronting the more indie rock-based Brooklyn band Cheyenne. After they disbanded, he moved back to Oklahoma where he pulled together The Tigers.

“I’m reaching Lord,” is another standout track here, with the band charging into a blues-fueled slow jam that borrows a little of The Pixies’ quiet/loud/quiet/loud musical template (minus the distortion pedals). Given the collective uncertainty that gripped society over the past two years, the song is clearly relatable. “What else can you do besides keep reaching? I’ve heard it said how satisfying it is to call a spade a spade, no matter what that might mean, and I think there’s a good element of that here,” Jennings said about the song. “But there’s a spirit of defiance here too that I can really credit to The Tigers and the energy they bring. I can zone out and write a song in black and white on my own but one of my favorite things about the band is how they can blow it out and bring it up to full color.”

Jennings’ strong songwriting can be heard on the emotional “Colorado,” written about the death of his mother, and on “Juniper,” a song written for his daughters. Unfortunately, the record drags a bit toward the end – on the title track and the album’s final song, “May This Song Be Your Closer”; a pleasant enough track but one that ultimately sounds a bit cliché in sentiment and execution. Overall, Heavy Light gives enough promise for what comes next from Jennings and his band. 

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