It’s very comforting to listen to Tender Regions. There is a sense of happy reassurance that the lyrics and music create. Things are never perfect and sometimes they change or end, like when “The march of the spring, flowers / And honey, it’s been fun, but nothing lasts forever.” But sometimes they don’t change: “How in the world has nothing ever changed about you? / Oh how I love the beautiful and strange about you.”
These songs, off The Shiloh’s latest record, are a reminder that sometimes it’s ok to let things happen, and that everyone can have their own reasons for that. This comfort and reassurance is wise and substantial and there is an awareness of what’s going on. It’s also subtle, not preachy, and never the naïve or pushy kind of comfort that can do more harm than good.
This is The Shiloh’s third album after So Wild and their self-titled. On Tender Regions, the band has a fresh but warm sound that is well-developed and mature. All the instruments sound fantastic and cohesive, as the album blends elements of pop, rock, and folk while paying homage to sounds from the ‘60s and ‘70s while maintaining its originality and distinctiveness.
“Miracle Mile” captures how everything goes so well together on the album. The drums create a rhythm that is layered with the wonderful bass, and coolly infected with the lead guitar. The vocals seamlessly combine with all these sounds. Album highlight “Coaster” is melodic and catchy. Changes in the intensity of sound accentuate the pleasure of the song, like when the vocals sing “You think tomorrow you can run, but then tomorrow never comes and then tomorrow’s gone / But you love that feeling, it’s the one that keeps you… turned on.” “Mercy” is another standout from the album with a fantastic intro and drum and guitar interludes that allow the vocals to shine.
While this is supposed to be The Shiloh’s final album, they leave us with a wonderful one — every listen gives you a new story to follow or a new lyric to sing along. —Shebli Khoury