Wednesday, July 17, 2019


The veteran songwriter (Trews, Big Sugar) likes to have fun on his own records, of which this is the fourth. Clearly a fan of the well-crafted tune, here Ballantyne dives deep, coming up with a polished batch that all work individually, and also as part of a bigger picture, the whole nine track release. Playing every part himself aside from some added voices, he gives us what so few do these days, a start-to-finish album, in that old rock idea of all-killer, no-filler.

Inspired by the classics, Ballantyne added familiar touchstones, including some Floyd space on "Beneath Your Skin," some Harrison slide on "I Get Lost," and Moody mellotron on "Vicious In Your Vanity." And while he may be pleasing himself with these studio concoctions, the songs all feature an attention to detail that fans of great pop production love. The arrangements take the tunes way past the verse-chorus-verse model, with lots of prog soaring and drama, and perfect instrument choices appearing out of nowhere to take the track to a new level.

While his songwriting chops have earned him his reputation, Ballantyne's solo work has taken a serious leap with Sky.

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