Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The New Steve

This is a great cover. "As the albums have gotten worse, the covers have gotten better. Discuss."

Also I love that at his official website you can actually pat the dog. Go on, try it. So cute!

I have put this off and off because I listened to it a few times and did not like it. This depresses me because I love Steve Earle but have not, not one bit, loved his last few albums. I choose denial.

But it's been a few weeks. I'm gonna live blog my next listen and see if it's improved.

Tennessee Blues. This was a pre-release a few months ago. I can't be bothered to go back and find where, but I linked to it and said nice things. And it's quite nice. I am pleased by the "goodbye guitar town" line, such in-references make the fangrrrrl happy. And I like that Steve's happy. Nothing exciting, but a nice start.

Down Here Below. Oh, goody: spoken word. I did like his collection of short stories "Doghouse Roses" so I'm partial to his little vignettes. This is alright I suppose UNTIL 3.25 in when he starts with ... well I don't know what it is, but I don't like it.

Satellite Radio.
This is OK, although I was ready for it to be over a minute before it was.

City of Immigrants.
Steve used to be a writer of what are called "story songs." Are there any on this album? Not that I object to the sentiment, I wholeheartedly endorse it. But just repeating over and over that New York City is a city of immigrants is ... what? It's not telling us anything we don't know, nor even doing it in an interesting way. And the backup singers actually chant "all of us are immigrants." ! Which, true. But also, meaningless cliche. I rather think this is an awful song.

Sparkle and Shine
If your singer-songwriter boyfriend/husband wrote this for your anniversary, you'd be overwhelmed with love and might get a bit weepy at the beauty of the gesture. You still wouldn't want him to actually put it on an album.

Come Home to Me. It's not finished yet and I've already forgotten all about it.

Jericho Road. This starts of sounding a bit like "Telegraph Road" from El Corazon. I wonder if that's deliberate? Bad move if so, because that song was good. I guess this is an attempt at Seeger-ish symbolic folk song thing but it doesn't really grab me.

Oxycontin Blues.
Oh, yeah. Hillbilly heroin! Surely Steve can bring this one home. ... It's pretty good but not a classic.

Red is the Color. Well, he has moved to Greenwich Village. So a bit of unremarkable beat poetry is to be expected. Like the mandolin (?), the harp and the howling.

Steve's Hammer (For Pete
). Yeah, its alright and the only one I can really imagine singing along to. Pity that Bruce did a whole album of this stuff, much better, not so long ago. D'oh!

Days Aren't Long Enough.
Duet with wifey. He pretty much always has a chick duet on his records, most of them pleasant but unremarkable. As is this on. Nice enough.

Way Down in the Hole.
Now, I utterly adore The Wire, the show for which this will be the theme song this season. This version doesn't grab me but it might work in context.

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