Eyebrows were raised in these parts a couple of years ago, when Luft left The Wailin' Jennys to renew her solo career. But those who know Cara are well aware that she's a lively and righteous spirit - so it's no real surprise that she lets loose on this album right from the opening track, There's a Train. Essentially Luft's take on the train-a comin' theme, the song is a self-affirming declaration of intent, building from the lyrical explication of its acoustic verses to a shuffling electric crescendo that shows off her substantial guitar chops. Produced by 54-40 frontman Neil Osborne and featuring Spirit of the West's Hugh MacMillan on a multitude of instruments, The Light Fantastic also embraces acoustic balladry, jaunty country-folk and rock-ish raga as Luft presents all sides of her musical self. None of the songs are quite as emboldened as the opener, but there's plenty to like, especially the observations of songs such as Wilcox and the contributions of violist Richard Moody.
- John Kendle