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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

February 01, 2006

Listening Matters

I just swapped all the CDs over in the car, and my memory of what I've been listening to is fading fast...

1. Home made compo.

2. Home made Shelby Lynne compo - her first 3 post-reinvention albums

3. Miranda Lambert - Kerosene. This is much less annoying once you get past the first few tracks. I think my first several listens, I focused solely on the first four songs, and switched off for the rest of the record. It gets a qualified "quite good," though it wouldn't do her any harm to finish school before making another one.

4. Deana Carter - The story of my life. This self-produced effort sort of sounds like her (excellent) previous outing, "I"m Just a Girl," but somehow the strength-in-depth isn't there.

5. CD of my own demos - because my car system is one of very few alternative listening environments I have to hone my (poor) mix skills

6. Chely Wright - Metropolitan Hotel. Chely - the Bridget Jones of country music - grows on me ( (you'll need sunglasses to view the site). I can't really fathom why this is called Metropolitan Hotel, but it's a strong set, and her voice is fantastic. The slide and lead guitar on "South Side of Lonesome" alone is worth the price of admission. I can't think of anyone whose voice has quite the same richness of tone, and her technique is unique and unmistakable. You're going to fall into two camps on the lyrics to the songs on this. On the one hand, she has a strong personal vision, so that if you're in tune with her choices, you're well on your weepy way. She wrote 8 of the 12 on here, which is somewhat unusual in her part of the market. It's very commercial-sounding, very well produced, and yet her songs are intensely personal. If you find songs about failed/awkward relationships, mother-daughter problems, being lonely and single, feeling left behind, people drowning in rivers, etc. a tad difficult, you'll be squirming along to the (largely rock) beat. And she might push you over the edge with the one about the bumper sticker on her SUV. You have been warned. (Pictured above with diamond geezer Vince Gill.)

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