Bob Mould – Patch the Sky
Having experienced a late career revival in recent years, Bob Mould returns in more reflective mood. No need to panic, Hüsker Dü fans: he’s not forsaken the pace or volume that made his latest efforts feel so unexpectedly glorious (The End Of Things and Pray For Rain retain the buzzsaw brightness of his very finest moments), nor their magnificently contagious sense of purpose. Instead, solo album #11 digs deep into the darkness, exploring loss of life and love through uncharacteristically frank depictions of depression.
Thanks to Mould’s natural gift for songcraft, it all proves much more tenderly palatable than it looks on paper. His sunny melodies and muscular delivery – still exhilarating – provide a neat contrast to the bleakness, suggesting there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, especially in Hold On’s simple plea for a connection. Direct, honest and powerful, Patch The Sky can only win you over, slowly but surely.