Horse Soldier, Horse Soldier – Corb Lund & The Hurtin’ Albertans

Highly anticipated by his fans, roots country singer Corb Lund and his band the Hurtin’ Albertans brings forth his 5th album after splitting up from alt-rock band The Odds. The album Horse Soldier, Horse Soldier reminds us of the courageous cavalrymen of the early wars and has a strange affinity to horses.

The first song, single & video I Wanna Be In The Cavalry starts off with a marching snare and it’s catchy chorus and well written lyrics that is infectious and paints a clear picture of a young man who dreams of being in the Cavalry. However the song ends on an ominous note when Corb changes the chorus to “And I won’t ride home no more”. We’ll soon see that there’s a flip side to that dream when it becomes a reality.

The title track is up next – a historical tribute to soldier on horses of the wars of the past. The semi-narrative style matches well to this somber tune as the song recalls the valiant victories of the brave men who fought the old fashioned way. Lament For Lester Cousins is a song about a man who after a hard life, settled down with a wife & kid but his past catches up to him. Lester’s wife & daughter are raped and Lester goes for revenge. Brother Brigham, Brother Young is a man’s confession to two priests. The Horse I Rode In On is a ballad about someone who gets on a horse after a long time but his joy on riding a horse again cannot hide his heartbreak on his love lost.

A Leader On Losing Control is  exactly that – a man confessing that he could not control his unruly men. The strangely titled Student Visas is about a reluctant gunner as his helicopter goes & who does not want to kill anymore. What That Song Means Now is about how something takes on different means or how something can mean a lot to you with the passage of time. Hard On Equipment/Tool For The Job is about a certain kind of worker/handyman. Family Reunion is about man looking forward to meeting his relatives after a long gap and hoping for a good time. It’s a tongue in cheek look at things that can go on at a reunion.

Especially A Paint is about love of horses. After the instrumental Ciesla’s Revenge, we have My Saddle Horse Has Died. I think this is a song more about the loss of a man’s youth or strength. It’s got a Mexican flavour with the trumpets native to that nation. And finally we have I Wanna Be In The Cavalry (Reprise) which tells of the hardships of war after the protagonist joins the war. The glamour is short-lived as he watches people die in front of him and he is not sure if he will survive. This is the lament of the soldier at war.

A wonderful album filled with memorable songs. Here’s the video to Family Reunion.

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