This one definitely got away from me during the year, and its a damn shame I aim to correct this week. Nashville’s Ornament took a step towards the ‘70s on the album’s lead single “In Her Light,” and once a full listen to Rock Solid hits the speakers it’s clear that the band feels comfortable among the wood-paneled wonderland they’ve created. The self-produced album finds Will Mann and Ryan Donoho reclining in the conversation pit with nods to Nilsson, Leon Russell, and Pete Dello. The band balances wistful glances and silken surroundings with a rumpled soul that can’t help but stay out all night and stumble home broken-hearted. Mann and Donoho have a penchant for capturing the decade’s decadence and budding well of nostalgia, but once they wrap it up in stacked harmonies, sauntering organs, and vamped guitars its hard to feel down for long.
The album bursts into the ballroom with a stage-sizzlin’ take on the title track, though the band tends to shy away from anything quite so sordid as the album progresses. The only exception is the pout-perfect “Is It Love?” The title, in fact, seems more a nod to Mann and Donoho’s studio acumen, handling the majority of the album’s instrumentation themselves, piling on Vibraphone, ARP, Clavinet, Timpani, Sax, Moog and more to the album’s stereophonic sound. The pair are a two-man wrecking crew that make Rock Solid feel fuller than many bands twice their size. There’s more than a few names digging into the same well, but Ornament make the past glow again, sliding out of the speakers with an ultrasuede soul.
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