Lou Barlow: Emoh

By Kelly Johnson

The first official solo release from Lou Barlow shows this earnest veteran of indie rock has an uncanny knack for writing consistent and heartfelt songs about love, life and everything in between.

Dabbling in a number of projects and mini-projects such as Sebadoh, The Folk Implosion and Dinosaur Jr. over the past decade and a half, Barlow clearly has honed his heart-on-your-sleeve approach to acoustic balladry.

“Emoh” is surprisingly cohesive with the first eight songs recorded with various producers and the last six songs characteristically recorded at home by Barlow. Despite the semi-noticeable change in production, “Emoh” has a seamless and logical flow.

The intertwining thread that holds this warm blanket together, however, is Barlow’s gentle voice. His soothing melodies and delivery aptly complement the various musings on love, religion and hope he has acquired over the years.

Even a cover of Ratt’s “Round and Round” manages to slip in nicely between his originals as a legitimate-sounding Barlow song.

To see a qualified indie rock professional at the top of his game after all these years is encouraging and a testament to how important Barlow is in the rock world.