Vocals, bass, guitar and the occasional keyboards, mostly played by Luttik himself. What he seems to express above everything else is that he's a fan of roots music in all its incarnations, as the album is infused with the spirit of folk, C&W, blues and themes ranging from solitude to religion, mortality, etc. By putting three covers on the album, Luttik also admits he's a fan of a wide range of artists, even more when you realize his heavily-accented interpretation of Kris Kristofferson's "Why Me Lord?" is more influenced by Johnny Cash's version (on the first American-album) than the original. Cash is also probably where he picked up the idea to cover U2, as his "Moon Love" is too obviously based on that band's classic ballad "One" - especially during the intro and the opening lines of the verses that follow an almost identical phrasing. In fact, I'd rather hear songs like "Diamonds and Pearls" and "The Lonely Room": modest, quietly executed songs with a great power of expression.
Especially the opening song is characterised by a callused, weary sincerity that can only be rendered credible in the hands of someone who's had his share of ups and downs, loves and losses. Luttik's playing is hardly baffling, but that's not what these songs are asking for; the arrangements are simple yet tasteful, giving the music an honest and brooding quality. Even though most of the songs here could be filed under "late night ponderings," the album's best song is the up-tempo "Ik Ben God" (that's Dutch for "I Am God"), which combines the thoughtful wordplay of The Lau of The Scene wrapped up in the propulsive guitar playing of Billy Bragg. As such, it turns into a recognisable quest for meaning, passion and that missing part we all crave. Songs from a Lonely Room is not exactly the kind of song-oriented album you might be looking for if you're a sucker for all these densely packed, happenin', over-produced releases that have such high hopes and aspirations. What it does offer however, is a collection of heartfelt, no-nonsense songs that could be of interest to anyone who recognizes the artist's struggle to give meaning to what he experiences and sees around him - and finally presents it with unassuming class. Guy Pieters Guy'sMusicReviews! Read more on Last.fm.
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