Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
All About Town
Genres: World Music, Pop, Rock
To follow up their debut, Just Add Ice, the V-Roys are thickening the soup. Just Add Ice was a justly heralded debut, rippling with twang and still grit-surfaced enough to give off a post-Replacements feel that pleased the... more »
To follow up their debut, Just Add Ice, the V-Roys are thickening the soup. Just Add Ice was a justly heralded debut, rippling with twang and still grit-surfaced enough to give off a post-Replacements feel that pleased the alt-country hordes. All About Town will surely extend the Tennessee foursome's reputation. The laggard tempo and coarse guitars of the CD's opener, "The Window Song," will grab the rock-touched ear (as will the punchy "Strange"), and the following tune, "Mary," snags old-timey country touches with its acoustic ramble and woeful love tale. The V-Roys are great handlers of multipart vocal harmonies, often to offset Miller's occasional desperate-leaning vocal yearnings. What pops up throughout All About Town is a kind of radio-dial-wide array of music that might've all come from the same highway, stretching from an urban alt-rock mecca to a faraway rural sprawl of open space, weekend hoedowns, and retro riffs. Produced by Steve Earle and Ray Kennedy--a.k.a. the twang trust--this episode in the widening of roots aesthetics is blessed with the marks of Earle's earliest works as well as his most recent. --Andrew Bartlett
Roots-rockers' studio swan-song
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 12/11/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This Tennessee band never quite lived up to the hype, notably that of their producer, Steve Earle. Still, they left behind a legacy of two studio albums and a live disc that shows off their blend of twangy country and power-pop. This, their second studio album, finds original lead guitarist John Paul Keith replaced by Mike Harrison, and their comfort in the studio increased. The result isn't so much slick as polished -- with vocals that provide both blue harmonies on the country tunes and sunnier backings for pop songs.The V-Roys spend their country, folk and rock influences discretely, like the acoustic country of "Mary" and the full-blown 12-string chime of "Amy 88." They lean heavily on their rock roots (as they did live on their follow-up swan-song, "Are You Through Yet?"), mixing layers of electric guitar, ala Matthew Sweet, with chiming Rickenbacker, reverb, and stacked vocal harmonies. "Hold on to Me" crosses electric and acoustic with a soulful melody that harkens back to the '50s.Despite the catchy hooks, well-blended vocals and heartfelt playing and production, there's still something faintly unengaging about this album. It's like the razor-thin difference between a hit and an alternate take -- all the elements are there, but the essential "it" seems just out of reach.3-1/2 stars, if allowed fractional ratings."
Steve Earle meets Power Pop
Timothy D. Shoppa | Bethesda, MD USA | 04/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've listened to a little Steve Earle elsewhere, but this album still appeals to me more than anything else I've heard. Most all the tunes carry heavy production/chiming guitars/multipart harmonies that evoke the allure of the Beatles or Badfinger, while still having at least a little (and sometimes a lot) of Nashville Country thrown in.
And the lyrics... wow. I don't know who gets the credits for lyrics on these songs, but they all tell such full and emotional and time-and-place stories with an incredible economy of words.
Amy 88 is the track that is power-pop to the max with lyrics that match, I'm sure, 99% of the US population's memories of teenagehood. And some of the not-quite-so-much power-pop songs, especially Fade Away, tell stories so effectively that everyone will identify even if they do not tag common memories."