It’s been a big couple of weeks for Stuart Landon. As well as travelling up and down the country promoting his new single ‘I Sinned’, it has also been announced that he will be playing at the Country 2 Country at the O2 in March. If you had to pick out any artist on the released list, there are none more deserving than Stuart Landon.
Tomorrow sees the release of Stuart’s new single ‘I Sinned’. The combination of the title of the song and the artwork (featured above) already give an indication that this is going to be a song with great depth, and it certainly delivers in that respect.
There are actually two versions of the song, one which you might have heard on the radio in the last couple of weeks, and a slightly longer ‘full version’ of the song which contains explicit lyrics – for the purpose of this review, I’ll be focusing on the full version.
Right from the start, you’ve got echoes of traditional country in the production with finger picking and steel guitar, before Stuart’s vocals take centre stage. ‘When I get to the gates of heaven, they’re gonna turn me away, we don’t need the likes of you here, that’s what St. Pete will say‘. Stuart has a strong and emminently clear voice, which could be said to be made for the genre – and you’re drawn in to the song with immediate effect.
That opening line leads you to the assumption that instead of heading to into heaven, that the narrative will lead to heading ‘downstairs’ instead – and while that might be true, the gates are locked at that extreme too. This is where you get to the crux of the song. Instead of looking for judgement from the outside, the protagonist of the story looks inside himself and the track becomes a confessional. ‘I never meant to hurt nobody, it’s just the way it went. Absolution won’t come my way, it’s the way my life’s been spent‘.
The over-riding feel of the track is that there’s a complete honesty throughout the four and a half minutes – an admission that he’s ‘fucked it up so many times‘ and a begging for redemption and forgiveness. A message that we can all listen to and recognise in ourselves. Weirdly, in recognising that, the song almost has an uplifting feel – none of us are perfect, but when we come to that realisation, some of that weight is lifted.
Ably assisted by Neil Jacks, Chris Bucknall and Sam Beeton, the instrumentation adds that perfect melancholy layer to the track, in a way that only country music can do. The song is real and has a grit that makes it leave its mark and have you thinking. You can’t ask any more from a song.
‘I Sinned’ is available to pre-order on iTunes here and will be available at all of your usual outlets and streaming services from tomorrow.