Despite several previous albums and a sound so agreeable it was seemingly made for the mainstream, Yarn has yet to create the bigger buzz needed to bring them the attention they so rightly deserve. Boldly optimistic This Is the Year(out May 15) is a seamless blend of vibrant, inspired, back porch melodies and narrative. Its descriptive lyrics detail the challenges faced when one’s life is jolted off its bearings. Indeed, the record documents in detail the band’s determination to move forward despite uncertain circumstances and internal changes. It’s an album about re-evaluating relationships, making tough choices, and sometimes skirting the rules -- a tack that inevitably finds them emerging more optimistic and fulfilled than ever. “This is the year we’re going to find our way,” the lyrics proclaim on the title track, and given the upbeat appeal imbued in these grooves, there’s every reason to believe Yarn is on the right track.
Indeed, given the group's rugged and resilient sound -- along with its affable and assured delivery -- Yarn’s approach reflects both classic and contemporary leanings. “Carolina Heart” is as endearing an album opener as has been heard recently. But every song that follows -- be it the sprightly “Love/Hate,” the forthright shout-out “I’m the Man,” or the tender ballad “Fallin’” -- rises to the same standard.
The easy sway of “Dolly,” an obvious homage to that beautiful country queen, adds another engaging additive, as does the sweetly reassuring “Easy Road” and the aforementioned title track. Comparisons are inevitable -- Pure Prairie League, Dan Fogelberg, hints of Poco and the Flying Burrito Brothers -- but Yarn’s mastery of the country-rock idiom is indisputable.
To call This Is The Year an album for the ages may seem a stretch for those who are unaware, but given these immediately engaging melodies and the sheer skill and savvy invested in each note and every verse, you will likely become a true believer after only a single listen.