Too many chiefs, not enough indians
Brian Kious | Saint Charles, Missouri United States | 08/23/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is not the first album that Blue Rodeo has produced. They have had the credit with the stellar 1994 release "Five Days in July". So this cannot be blamed for the muddy sound of this album. First off let me say that the songs on this album aren't really that bad. There were a lot of high points writing-wise. Most of the high points belong to Greg Keelor on this record (as was the case on their last outing "The Days In Between"). In fact, this has been the case as Blue Rodeo has moved forward. Keelor has stretched his wings further this time creating not only a well-written song, but adding to those songs wonderful mental landscapes with just the right usage of instruments.
Keelor alone could not carry this album. Cuddy had some fair additions, but they could have easily been the same songs he was offering up back in 1994.
The most notable difference that anyone educated in Blue Rodeo will notice is the addition of the Bushwhack Horns and the string section. The only problem with this is that when added to a full on rock assault like "Walk Like You Don't Mind" or "Clearer View" (which are Cuddy's better offerings) it served only to make a cluttered cachophony with badly buried vocals. The lesson here is just because you have these at your disposal doesn't mean you should always use them.
Maybe it was a case of having too many ideas or just not having the technical knowhow of mixing. When listening closer, there are many parts that were buried that would have just put certain songs over the top, like the female echoed vocals on "What a Surprise".
Over all, this is worth getting if you are a completist, but that's about it."
Another wonderful effort by a great bunch of guys!
OSErr | 09/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been listening to Blue Rodeo since the 80's and have seen them a number of times live. This album is a very good effort and while not every cut can be considered a "HIT" like most of their other albums it's a very enjoyable listen. I like the horns and the extra cuts are cool...if you're a fan you will not be disappointed. (If you're thinking about a first purchase I recommend "Just like a Vacation", you'll be hooked and will eventually want to pick up all their albums.)The 5 stars here is because this band really shines live and is a "must see". I saw them on the tour for this album in San Fransicso Sept 2003, playing a small club. Gregg was not there (his dad was ill and he flew home to be with him) but this didn't stop the guys from putting on a killer show (over 2 hours!). "Oh Susana" opened up (she has a great voice - check her band out), her guitar player sat in with Blue Rodeo. That kid totally rocked out, it was simply great -- apparently he picked up the parts the day before or something like that. These guys played in Toronto to 450 000 people along with the Stones and AC/DC and in San Fran they play a 250 seat club. Figure that out. They deserves so much more recognition! Thanks guys, keep on rockin' and don't forget us canucks on the west coast...sometimes we really need a fix...and some whisky of course."
Something new on an already great sound.
Pauly walnuts | Cleveland, Ohio | 07/30/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The boys have added strings and horns to their sound on this album
and have got the mixture just right on most of the songs. If you
have heard anything by Blue Rodeo before you will be familuar with
Jim Cuddy's great country rock voice ,well it really stands out this time on "love never dies" and "cause for sympathy".Over all
about 90 percent of the tracks are great and meet "I want to hear
that again leave it in the CD player " mesure of a great disk."