Robert Abernathy offers an honest take on the soothing tender vignettes of “Ride of a Lifetime”. A deft lyricist he draws from stories of his own life. The journey of the album comes from how these pieces play together, effortlessly blending into a cinematic flourish. Poetry in full motion as he creates whole universes ones that feel absolutely apt in terms of their gorgeousness. The arrangements incorporate a wide swath of unique styles. Heavily rooted with a western country twang, he draws from elements of folk, classic rock n’ roll, the blues, and pop. By keeping things so versatile he refuses to be easily pigeonholed forging his own path.
Honesty reigns supreme throughout the whole of the journey. Done with such care, the compassion that ties these together at times recalls the powerful work of Bill Callahan. Akin to Callahan’s work, Abernathy makes sure to keep the arrangements crisp and concise. Clear-eyed with their focus the whole of the album rolls along with its unique grace. Beyond the country references, the intimate production recalls Father John Misty at his most sincere. Jaunty moments throughout the album draw from this influence, as the toe-tapping rhythms truly reflect his pop perfectionism.
The joy of “Be the One” shows off his care in crafting something so undeniably sweet. From the whistling to the strutting tempo, it has such a warm inviting presence to it. A moment of reflection permeates the whole of “Dear Future Me”. With a slightly Celtic quality is the delicate “Torn Up Photograph”. By far the highlight comes from the casual cool of “Sun Comes Up Tomorrow”. With a jazzy quality, the delivery recalls the Sea and Cake’s effortlessly hip approach. Right down to the tropical spirit it is a pure joy to behold. For a different tact the title track “Ride of a Lifetime” strips things down to the essentials for an intimate setting. Wonderful guitar riffs intermingle on the bright optimism of “Give a Little Love”.
A powerful message rests at the center of “Goodbye Jesus”. The way to treat others that people learn as children becomes eaten alive with toxic politics. Some know to pull away from this toxicity while others live deep within it. “I Bought a Guitar” becomes a sheer force of nature. Dreamy with its atmospherics is the swirls of “It’s Your Night”. Sly grooves reign supreme over the strut of “On a Beach Somewhere”. Pure compassion runs through the dreamy “It’s Your Night”. Featuring an incredible buildup is the cinematic fire and passion of “Marry You Again”.
With the powerful “Ride of a Lifetime” Robert Abernathy delivers a piece of art delivered straight from the heart.