Canadian singer-songwriter Jerry Leger released his debut album Jerry Leger & The Situation in 2005. Since then he’s been fairly prolific release a new album almost every single year. His last was 2018’s Residuals with the Del Fi’s and he’s picked up a pretty dedicated fanbase over the years. For his latest album, Time Out For Tomorrow, Leger has once again teamed up with Cowboy Junkies member Michael Timmins who produces the 10-song set.
Time Out For Tomorrow opens with lead single Canvas of Gold, a pure slice of Americana with introspective lyrics and coloured by Leger’s distinctive voice. At times Leger’s delivery is reminiscent of Bob Dylan in his prime, particularly the way that it sounds more like he’s sharing intimate stories than singing songs with broad appeal. Timmins’ production, on this song and indeed the entire record, brings out the warmth of the instrumentation without ever detracting from what Leger has to say.
The steady beat of Justine combines with short bursts of electric guitar for a jingly-jangly moment while on Tell a Lie leans more into alt-rock as Leger tells a woman that although he loved her, he knew their relationship would never last. Elsewhere on the record Read Between the Lines has a 60s influence that brings to mind Roy Orbison, I Would paints a dreamy soundscape behind Leger’s shimmering and delicate vocals, and Corner Light layers Leger’s vocals for one of the album’s more uptempo moments.
The stripped-back Survived Like a Stone is one of the stand-out moments on the record. It has an old-school Country feel about it and the stirring guitar riffs evoke days gone by. It’s one of the moments on the album where Timmins really fleshes out the production, making the whole song sound rather epic. Tomorrow in My Mind is the closer and it’s a mid-tempo number that brings the record to a satisfying conclusion.
Where I’d perhaps criticise the record is that there isn’t a huge amount of variety. I admire and respect Leger’s abilities a songwriter and storyteller but there are moments where the music, as enjoyable as it is, passes you by without grabbing you. This is in part due to the familiar sounds that each track carries and there’s no moment where Leger really pushes out of his comfort zone.
Time Out For Tomorrow will definitely appeal to fans of the traditional Americana sound. Leger is the real deal and his music drips with authenticity. He also has plenty to say and the more you listen to these tracks, the more they’ll grow on you. For me, it’s not an instant album and it takes a little work to get to the heart of it. If you’re prepared to put in the time and effort, you’ll find yourself rewarded.
Track list: 1. Canvas of Gold 2. Justine 3. That Ain’t Here 4. Tell a Lie 5. Read Between the Lines 6. Burchell Lake 7. I Would 8. Survived Like a Stone 9. Corner Light 10. Tomorrow in My Mind Record label: Latent Recordings Release date: 8th November 2019 Buy Time Out For Tomorrow