Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
Beware the cry of critics everywhere: Cracker have run out of material. But hold on, not so fast. On the fourth recording from this eclectic roots-pop quartet, frontman David Lowery may indeed address the topic of success,... more »
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Beware the cry of critics everywhere: Cracker have run out of material. But hold on, not so fast. On the fourth recording from this eclectic roots-pop quartet, frontman David Lowery may indeed address the topic of success, celebrity, and the life of a rock band (i.e., his life), but that's hardly saying he's at a loss for originality. With characteristic irony, these 16 songs sprawl across a landscape of misbegotten fame, lost love, even religious faith. The opener, "The Good Life," is vintage Cracker, replete with throbbing percussion and frontier twang. From there, Gentleman's Blues undulates its way through the retro-Americana reminiscence "Been Around the World" and thrusts guitarist John Hickman on the mic for the bluegrassy "Trials and Tribulations" before finally settling into the irresistibly tender strains of the title track. That kind of Cracker soul will never grow old. --Nick Heil
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Another Incredible Journey
email@example.com | New York | 11/10/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You sure don't get cheated when you buy a Cracker album. Their 4th studio release features 17 songs and more than 73 minutes of music. And while more is not necessarily better, it is safe to say that any album that gives you 60 great minutes of music has to be forgiven the quarter hour of overkill. Cracker's music takes on many personallities, with three distinct styles vying for control on each album. There is good old fashioned alternative guitar rock; pop with a bit of an edge, mostly written by frontman Dave Lowery. Guitarist Hickman contributes a number of country/roots rock-flavored songs that sound nothing at all like Lowery's songs. It's like listening to two different albums, especially confusing because the order of the songs is usually Lowery, Hickman, Lowery, Hickman. The 3rd style is the one that sets Cracker apart from the pack of 90's guitar rockers. On each album, Lowery puts forth a couple of songs that are slow. I don't mean Celine Dion-type slow. I mean, ssslllooowww. These would be slow by slow blues standards, but they are extraordinary. On this album, the title track stands out. It is an intoxicating dirge that saps the life out of the listener, leaving you hypnotised and mesmerized and any other "ized" you can think of. These songs create an atmosphere that is so pervasive that you just want to stop and lie down and let it wash over you. Wonderful stuff."
A Partial Rebound
Brian D. Rubendall | Oakton, VA | 03/02/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Cracker's fourth album, "Gentlemen's Blues" is a marked improvement from their previous effort, even if it isn't quite on par with their first two records. The album contains the greatest diversity in sound the band had yet achieved and their Virginia roots shine through more than ever in their music (see: "James River" for details). Leader David Lowery has regained his deft sense of humor and longtime sideman Johnny Hickman comes up two of his best ever songs in "Wedding Day" and "Hold of Myself." Other highlights from the album include the gorgeous "Lullabye," and the rocker "My Life is Totally Boring Without You" that is as close to a signature tune as Lowery can get. There's also some hidden material with a strong Blues bent, which is fitting of the whole album's more adventuresome style. It might be a tad overlong with a few bland songs, but it is nice to see Cracker back near the top of their game.Overall, a mini-comeback album from Virginia's best known rock band."
Somewhere between the Kerosene Hat B-side and Tucson E.P.
firstname.lastname@example.org | Vernon, New Jersey | 09/03/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm ashamed to say that Rolling Stone reviewed this album before I even knew it was out. In that review, this doorknob compared Gentleman's Blues to Camper Van B.'s work- I'm assuming based solely on the track "I Want Out of the Circus." As usual, the editorial staff there just doesn't know it's ass from it's elbow when it comes to giving meaningful and concise album reviews.I must admit, I had my mouth all watery for a repeat of the magnum opus that is Golden Age (5 stars). Having followed the steady evolution of Cracker from it's debut release, I was a bit taken aback by Gentleman's Blues. Here I was expecting another trippy, off-the-wall collection of disparate tracks that blew my mind away from the first note of "Big Dipper," and what I got instead was a solid, cohesive body of songs that segue smoothly into one another... a kick in the ass to remind me that Cracker is a rock band, not some space-age cosmonaut always out to push the boundaries of sound. Maybe I've been listening to too much Massive Attack lately.At any rate, Cracker's Johnny Hickman has just about perfected the vibrato-guitar sound on Gentleman's Blues, and slow-burners like "James River" show off how well Hickman and David Lowery have blended their unique styles. The band has developed a keener sense of the effectiveness of percussion in accenting both lyric and music, and though this album may sound stripped down to an untrained listener, further inspection reveals some very well thought-out, intricate songsmithing. This is a good album. It's a plateau, not in the sense of peaking and being unable to push further, but rather a foothold that Cracker has made for themselves to become established as competent songwriters."