Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Son Volt...

Well, it arrived at the store today, Son Volt's newest long player. Depending on your school of thought it's either amazing how overlooked Jay Farrar has been or clear as glass exactly why he's been so overlooked. I for one am of the school of thought that good ole Jay hasn't made a record that could even touch Trace. The problem is that Trace was sublime and Farrar (in my opinion) has had trouble living up to that high bar. It's as if he's plotted the course of his career in reverse, starting out impossibly high and working downwards. Not that his catalog is bad, it's better than most even at its worst. But Trace must feel a bit like an albatross around his neck. Now he's back, solo baggage discarded, with his old band (or most of it). The new album Okemah And The Melody of Riot feels decidedly like an attempt at recreating the sonic footprint of Trace. That's not necessarily a band thing if you believe that roots rock is what he does best. Unfortunately I don't think the album is another Trace (can lightning strike twice anyway?) but it's far better than much of Son Volt's later catalog which I paid less and less attention to as each subsequent record came out. I suppose it's unreasonable to expect anyone to consistently recreate what is probably one of the best records of the 90's if not of the latter quarter of last century. This new one grows on me. Each time it grows on me.

1 song from Okemah And The Melody of Riot



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