Alberta roots-country singer-songwriter Corb Lund hasn’t released an album of new material since 2012, an absence apparently due in equal part to a busy touring schedule and a lack of inspiration. “Things That Can’t Be Undone” makes a powerful argument that inspiration has returned. Its songs range far, to Iraq and street fighting against the Mahdi Army (“Sadr City“) and back home for a tale of family discord that ends in the dissolution of a six-generation ranch (“S Lazy H”). “Weight of the Gun” relates a gunfighter’s remorse set to a touch of soul music, while “Washed-Up Rock Star Factory Blues” is a hilarious imagining, with a chicken-picking country vibe, of a musician’s fever-dream return to the workaday life he thought he’d left behind. But for all the lyrical power of those songs (and others here), the album’s most affecting moment may be its most plain-spoken: At the set’s end, Lund shares a song about a young niece who died of cancer, “Sunbeam,” that brims with quiet, heartfelt beauty.
Stuart Munro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.