On the Buddy Holly-like rockabilly romp, “My Neighbours Ghost” — the second song on Robert Vincent’s new album — the acclaimed guitarist and songwriter ponders the value of life, recognizing its indifference to what we do to prolong it. As the tune rides along pulsing rhythm guitars, the singer counsels, “There’s an image I now refer to with sadness / With a sadness comes the lesson of learning / The learning is a lesson for the future / In the future we must also learn to live / Life will take you if you like it or don’t / So you must live it.” “My Neighbours Ghost” illustrates the lyricism and musical genius on In This Town You’re Owned.
The mariachi-tinged, slow and plaintive “The Ending” weaves accordion, mandocello, mandolin, piano, and guitar around Vincent’s stark, though warm, vocals, as the singer reflects on the power of love and the loss that comes when loves dies. “It doesn’t care who you are / It doesn’t know your name / You have to play it your own way / Love has a way of mending / Love has a way, Love has a way / Nobody knows the ending.”
The somber and haunting march “The Kids Don’t Dig God Anymore” creates an atmospheric tone that mimics loss and the acknowledgement that even with the loss of religious faith we have discovered newfound ways that we might be able to believe in ourselves and find a new way forward. “The End of the War” opens sparsely with Vincent on guitar and vocals and blooms slowly into an almost orchestral suite that features military drums. Vincent’s lyrics remind us that there is life at the end of the war but that it arrives only after moving through the horrors and losses of the battles we fight.
In This Town You’re Owned delivers a poignant and evocative reflection on the disappointments, the fears, the joys, and the hopes we face in our lives.