Zoellners fifth album gets a little schmaltzy here and there (see I Love You Im Sorry and Running Is the Hardest Part, specifically), but who doesnt crank Dont Stop Believin every once in a while? Embrace it, and Lean On will hug you right back with the title tracks rich guitar tone thats locked in a waltz with a wafting organ. Eventually, that guitar lifts high in the mix for a triumphant solo at which Duane Allman surely wouldve grinned and nodded.
The Arsonist is a washed-up-so-now-Im-sitting-here-drinking, sad-sap country song informed by Zoellners work as a side player with Cross Canadian Ragweed, Jason Boland & the Stragglers and others. Golden Rule takes a rare dark turn, signaled by some reggae guitars, but The City returns the disc to its rocking, Tom Petty-esque foundation.
The band will play a CD-release show Nov. 19 at The Treehouse, 1738 S. Boston in Tulsa. For more information, visit philipzoellner.com. Matt Carney