Lannie Flowers: Home

Home will be released December 6, 2019 on SpyderPop Records.

Lannie Flowers’ “Home” is a unique creation, a rumination on a universal concept that is defined differently by everyone hearing the word. Consider Kris Kristofferson’s lyrics for “The Pilgrim Chapter 33″…”He’s a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction.” That same thought can be applied to the many ways we process our intellectual and emotional response to “home.” We have numerous novels, movies, television shows and songs that address the subject, often from a single angle. It can either summon memories of great peace, joy, love, and comfort, as well as pain, disappointment, disillusionment, and all points in between.

And, wisely, Lannie doesn’t offer his own definition. He incorporates fragments from the entire spectrum, none of which add up to a “definition,” and that’s the secret, that’s the point…an attempt to “define home” leaves a lot of people out in the cold. Rather, the aim of the artist should be to stir the listener’s own feelings, to bring them to a point where they create their own definition. That’s what Lannie has done on this album. That’s why it’s a masterpiece. As usual, the music sounds great, the vocals sound great, but it’s the substance and insight under it all that makes the album resonate and connect with its audience.

It begins with the cover artwork…a sepia-toned image of a house that’s a little worn, a little weathered, but still standing. It’s a metaphor for life itself. We walk the roads and weather the storms and cling to the center, the one constant that grounds us all…home.

The opening track, “Running,” sets the stage…“I’ve just been goin’ through the motions, waitin’ for the time to be right…but now I’m sinkin’ in an ocean, tryin’ to keep afloat and alive…” And, later in the song, “I’m thinkin’ that I might, leave this all behind, and go home…” That’s the natural reaction to ennui, to aimless wandering, to roads that result in a dead end…we want to go “home,” where things made sense…at least that’s what we tell ourselves when we’re so adrift that we’re just looking for that lighthouse that will lead us out of it all.

On the title track, Lonnie sings “When I’m home, I’ll see…someone who’s missing me…and I’ll finally sleep, when I’m home.” He then broadens the horizon a bit…“Along the way, we make decisions…it feels so right, but seems so wrong…Now, it’s just life…just the song, another reason…to go home.” That’s the common thread. that’s what we all look to “home” for, and whether we find what we’re looking for once we arrive is once again a singular experience for every individual.

A different version of “My Street” was recently released as a Big Stir Weekly Digital Single…the “North Florida Version”…and you can read my review here.

The album unfolds with a feeling of restlessness, yearning, seeking…on “Just Go To Sleep,” we’re told “Wish I could turn off my mind…and leave the world behind…’cause lyin’ here I can’t seem to find…an answer to it all…” And therein lies the brilliance, because there is no answer to it all, and Lannie knows it. It never stops us from looking for the answer, however. It summons images of a seeker scaling perilous, snow-capped mountain peaks, seeking some prophetic seer or sage who offers the key to it all, only to be answered with yet another riddle, another blind alley. If you want to know the answer to it all, the answer is that your life, as a whole…all of the dreams achieved, all of the dreams shattered, all of it…is the answer, for you. There’s no answer that universally fits everyone. Sometimes what is senseless is all the sense you’re going to get, and it’s up to you to make peace with that….to go “home.”

The album’s closer, “He’s going home,” begins with “He ran away from the circus, so he could go home…” The song ties up the loose ends as well as can be expected, revisits the themes of the album as a whole, and hands the entire concept back to the listener so that they can ponder their own journey.

This kind of album is almost impossible to make. You have to start with a theme that is so broad and so wide that the common traits are scattered across a barren landscape, and you have to work out in concentric circles, painting images that are vivid and universal enough to resonate with a large audience. On Home,” Lannie Flowers has achieved that impossible result.