Easy Tiger by Ryan Adams

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Jun 302007

A friend once said to me that the thing about Ryan Adams’ songs these days is, well, they don’t exactly rhyme. True, and don’t seem to scan well either. But he weaves the music around his semi-lyrics to give them just enough form to make it all hang together. Ryan Adams’ latest release, Easy Tiger, raises this stream-of-consciousness style to a fine art. Many of his songs feature that quavering almost-falsetto voice he developed on the Cold Roses release. Other tunes veer more to the soft rock James Taylor or, perhaps more kindly, Graham Parsons, style of singing. It all adds up to a set of songs that sound just a little loose, a little edgy, and heartfelt. His backing band, the Cardinals don’t stand out quite so much on this CD, but they do a great job creating the Big Rock Sound that so many of these songs need. Highlights include “Goodnight Rose,” “Tears Of Gold,” “Pearls On A String,” “Ripoff,” and “These Girls.”

Children Running Through

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May 312007

Patty Griffin proves that she has completely mastered her beautiful voice by covering an impressive range of song/vocal styles and proves that she knows a thing or too about songwriting as well. “You’ll Remember” is a torch singer’s dream. “Stay on the Road” has soul oriented vocals and stax-like horns backing her up, but it’s done more like a nightclub jazz tune. It works. “Trapeze” is a very sad country tune with backing vocals by Emmylou Harris. “Getting Ready” is a driving roots rock/acoustic rockabilly anthem.
She has several secular/gospel songs like “Up To The Mountain”, “I Don’t Ever Give Up, and “Heavenly Day.”

Sky Blue Sky by Wilco

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May 202007

Wilco’s 2007 release, Sky Blue Sky, files the hard edges off their last twangy release, Being There, and creates a soft rock oriented, more musical sound which amazingly brings them back home to their twangy roots. This more sophistcated musical sound comes largely from new band members Nels Cline on guitar and keys man Pat Sansone. New guitarist, Nels Cline is largely responible for ths new sound direction, but you also have to give a lot of credit to keyboaards from Pat Sansone. “You Are My Face” and “Impossible Germany” introduce the new band sound which then really hits home on the title track “Sky Blue Sky”. and “Side With The Seeds.” Fans of the Yankee Hotel; Foxtrot / collegee rock side of Wilco won’t be disappointed either. “Walken” splits the difference between the soft/rock/college rock. And “Shake It Off” has the rafter shaking chaos we’ve come to love from Wilco on recent releases. The stand out single from the entire CD is “Hate It Here,” a blues/soul tune that builds into sad screaming guitars that will raise the hair on your neck and bring a tear to your eye at the same time.