Sonny And The Sunsets
Polyvinyl Records 
Fire Note Says: Break ups are always hard as Sonny Smith deals with the ending of his long term relationship on the groups third lp Longtime Companion.
Sonny and the Sunsets new record Longtime Companion is a pure country-fried break up record that was written during the time his relationship with his girlfriend of ten years was ending. This definitely skews the lyrical content here which covers love and heartache while the music moves away from the lo-key indie pop found on his first two albums.
This stylistic change fits Smith's laid back style even though it might be a bit harder for his current fan base to adapt to. The good news is that Sonny still can write great lyrics and his Sunsets are talented musicians, so even though this record initially feels like it is out of left field, Longtime Companion works better after repeat listens and its warm arrangements start to sink in.
This is the part of Longtime Companion that succeeds because if you remember, this is supposed to be a bummer break up album but instead Smith and the Sunsets put a musical upswing on most of the tracks here that make you forget the bad and remember everything that is good. I do think that if this was Sonny and the Sunsets debut record I might have liked it more but knowing where they came from and how much I enjoyed their lo-fi pop gems found on their last two records it is still difficult to completely embrace this Dylanesque type album - even though it is still a solid outing.
Key Tracks: "Pretend You Love Me", "My Mind Messed Up", "I Was Born"
Bands With Similar Fire:
The Flying Burrito Brothers
Sonny And The Sunsets: Hit After Hit [Fire Note Review 4/27/11]
Sonny And The Sunsets: Tomorrow Is Alright [Fire Note Review 12/2/10]
Sonny And The Sunsets Website
Sonny And The Sunsets Facebook
-Reviewed by Christopher Anthony