Lifehouse's most recent album, Almeria is a sharp turn for a band that's been on a straight line for the past decade. There are still more than a couple of standard Lifehouse songs, but there are some twists thrown in. There's unique instrumentation, duets, and it even flirts with crossing into a few different genres.
Almeria is named after the town in Spain where a lot of the old spaghetti westerns were filmed. I get that, but there's less of an Americana/western thing going on and far more of a flirtation with the blues. Longtime producer Jude Cole seems to have a greater influence over this album than records past. Keeping with the trend, there's a bigger focus on the songs sounding organic and less commercial. Even the lead single off the album, "Between the Raindrops" is the opposite of what you would expect an initial single from this band to sound like. It's true that having Natasha Bedingfield on the song makes it sound like it caters to pop radio, but the instrumentation and the melody is what makes it special. Plus, it doesn't hurt that Bedingfield has an amazing voice. The duet sounds poppy... but it also sounds great. The best feature on the album doesn't belong to that song; it belongs to "Right Back Home" a song featuring the legendary Peter Frampton. It's another bluesy song and the guitar, as expected, is amazing.
Almeria is a nice album from a band that's made the same album most of their career. It's not a career defining album, but it does add something different to their collection of songs. The one thing that doesn't change with this record; Lifehouse continues to deliver quality music.