Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Cracker rediscovers their classic rock roots with Greenland, their first new album in three years. Greenland, was mostly produced by singer/guitarist David Lowery and John Morand. The duo also enlisted production aid from ... more »
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Cracker rediscovers their classic rock roots with Greenland, their first new album in three years. Greenland, was mostly produced by singer/guitarist David Lowery and John Morand. The duo also enlisted production aid from Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous and Alan Weatherhead. Linkous and Counting Crows guitarist David Immergluck make guest appearances on the 13-track record. This follow-up to 2003's Countrysides, a collection of country-folk covers that the band adopted while touring the southern U.S. under their Ironic Mullet pseudonym, finds Cracker rediscovering the rock.
Gimme one more chance
Howlinw | California, USA | 06/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The true test for greatness is longevity in my humble opinion. Sure, any band worth their salt can dish out a couple good songs, maybe even a decent album, or possibly a very good one. Few can keep doing this for the course of several albums. To pull it off for a decade and to keep growing in range and depth over time, that's the mark of significant achievement, classic status and the like. With this record, in my mind, Cracker has achieved that classic status and belongs in the pantheon of greats.
Am I overstating my point, hyperbolizing to the point that I am possibly even undercutting the 5-star review that I have so lovingly bestowed upon this album? Yeah maybe. Especially because I have only had it in my possession for a few hours. But I can't freakin' help it. This band means a lot to me, and has since its inception. A true return to form from Cracker calls for celebration in my book.
The past half-decade has been interesting for Lowery and company. 2002 saw the release of "Forever," dubbed a minor comeback amongst critics and fans even though the band had never really gone anywhere that they needed to come back from. In fact, "Gentleman's Blues," the album that preceded "Forever," was quite possibly their best and remains so to this day in my opinion. Yet, "Forever" was followed by a period of high output and creative dormancy, as the band played their hits in a nonstandard context ("Oh Cracker Where Art Thou?"), released a set of country covers with one original ("Countrysides"), and famously re-recorded their greatest hits to stick it to their former record label. Now, freed of that abusive relationship with Virgin records, Cracker finally records their first set of all-new material in four years.
The time away, genre explorations and newfound freedom have done Cracker well. They sound looser here than they did on "Forever," and less constrained by the desire to experiment. Musically, the album falls somewhere between the mixture of 70s-style rock and alt-rock found on "Gentleman's Blues" and the eery semi-psychedelic textures of "Forever." There are some risks taken, like a foray into reggae-tinged rock on "Better Times are Coming Our Way" and the psychedelic sounds of "Sidi Ifni," but for the most part the band does maintain their connection to roots-rock. The standout point here is the lyrics. Lowery has always been an incisive, cynically witty songwriter, but here there is an added layer of depth and poetry about the music. Consider the following lines:
"The sweet days of spring are gone/the wine that pours from the keg/is bitter and dregs."
"I drink gin with the old ex-pats/we are broken things/from a broken past."
"Dirty daisy she's not crazy everybody call her a loon/but she's just another sweet dark fruit."
...and of course the obligatory jokes:
"I was driving in my car/it was filled up with yams/for no obvious reason/that's just who I am."
All in all, the combination of loose, roots-rock songs and well-crafted, idea-laden lyrics makes for one hell of a listening experience. The maturity of the songs is not an albatross, as it would be for so many other bands, but an extension of Lowery's intelligent examination of the world around him.
The only unfortunate point here is the apparent fact that Hickman has taken more of a backseat role. Some of his better songs stood out prominently on "Gentleman's Blues," but this album is clearly Lowery's game. Perhaps Hickman has found his own creative outlet in his side projects (the worthy "Palmhenge"), and no longer needs to have as much of a say in Cracker. Whatever the case he is missed, and if he ever reads this I hope he considers contributing more to the band's next effort.
But that is small stuff. This album is worth your money and more importantly, your precious time on Earth. Whether, like me, you have been on board since "Cracker" and "Kerosene Hat," or you are just discovering this band for the first time, "Greenland" is a worthwhile place to become acquainted or re-acquainted with Cracker."
More from a genius at work....
Tankery | New Orleans | 06/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"More accessible than Forever (A great album in its own right), and as strong as anything they've ever done, Greenland has Cracker back and offering up a brilliant batch of beautifully crafted, literate rock and roll tunes.
David Lowery is one of Rock's best songwriters and the music on this one rocks out as loose and tight and carefree as the early days of Cracker.
Catch them in concert too. The venue's are small and they will blow you away.
(And don't believe the rollicking, introspective last song where he sings "Our best days have come, our best days are gone...Darlin we're out of time...)
No way. Cracker lives on and great songwriters like David Lowery have to keep it coming."
The title makes sense
Pen Name? | 07/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't have to give this album 5 stars... there's already 5 stars on the album cover. This shows that the band were quite confident with the product, or at least Johnny, who lead the art direction, was...
And so here it is. Greenland. It's quite good, all the way through. A bit more subdued than most Cracker albums, possibly treads closest to Gentleman's Blues for an overall feel, if you want to compare it to past work.
While it doesn't have the kind of instant spark songs that the other albums have had for me, it has 14 solid songs that will grow and grow on you. It's more "classic rock-like" if you will, not that that term means much.
Anyhow, if you already like Cracker or good songwriting and rock music in general, then pick this up.
And the title makes sense for the themes of the album."