Few things cause eyebrows to raise and eyes to roll more than the news that another actor has decided to try their hand at music. A lot of the time it can come across as entitled, as another crazy wealthy figure has suddenly decided that music is their thing, when very often it isn’t.
However, there are the rare occasions when it works. One such example of this is the renowned British actor, Hugh Laurie, who after frequently demonstrating his musical talents throughout his acting career he announced in 2010 that he would be releasing a blues album, Let Them Talk. Let Them Talk was very well received by critics and fans who recognised the love and care that Laurie had put into every song, which made it a compelling listen and demanded respect from audiences.
Another popular actor who has decided to try themselves at music is the esteemed actor, Kiefer Sutherland, whose music career was brought to my attention a few months ago when a friend suggested that I watch the TV series 24.
The results of this venture into music would be pleasantly surprising.
In 2016, Kiefer Sutherland would release his debut LP Down in a Hole to the world. The first thing that strikes you as you listen through the album is that there is a definite sense that Sutherland has used these songs as a catharsis for the various difficult events in his life. There is an honesty and fragility to the lyrics across the songs that make them a interesting and respectable listen.
One of the most honest songs on the record is Truth in Your Eyes, a heartbreaking piece of music about a failed relationship. The storytelling on his song is particularly affecting and we are left in no doubt as to the range emotions that our protagonist is going through, a range of emotion that is expertly articulated by the accompanying instrumentation. This theme of failed relationships is again investigated on the track Calling Out Your Name, however in a more pessimistic and defeated manner.
There are also moments across the album of the bluesy influence that clearly inspired Sutherland to make this album, an example comes with the song Going Home. I particularly liked the guitar on this track, and it is again another example that Sutherland has a voice with a tone and texture that is perfect for this kind of music.
The album seems to serve as an means for Sutherland to explore the different stages and events that life serves. Different songs on the record investigate personal regret, the seemingly rare good times, and the aforementioned romantic difficulties, which is done through eleven extremely capable and pleasant country songs.
There is nothing on this album that you won’t have heard before if you are already a fan of Nashville style country music, but there is an honesty and a clear love of the craft that makes it a very enjoyable listen. For a debut release there is plenty to suggest that there is more to come as Sutherland settles into his songwriting, it’s worth keeping an ear out for what might come next.