Julia K. from HARTINGTON, NE Reviewed on 6/6/2011...
love this artist from way back. this is my favorite album of his by far!
This one sticks with you for a while
Rob Houser | Suwanee, GA USA | 06/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Trouble No More" is the best of Darden Smith's CDs. His song writing is very thought provoking (Fall Apart at the Seams or Listen to My Own Voice) and fun (Frankie and Sue or Ashes to Ashes) at the same time. His poetic lyrics remind me a lot of Shawn Mullins. He tells stories in many of his songs and is skilled at using a few words to create very vivid images (i.e. I spent most of my life trying to wear another man's clothes. The collar's too tight and the shoes they hurt my soul). You can just tell by listening that he's having fun recording the music. Not to ding the man while I'm praising him, but Smith's other CDs don't share the same inspired, energetic feel of the songs on "Trouble No More." They are a little more country in flavor and lack the passion that makes this CD so enjoyable. Still, if you get really hooked on Darden Smith, you'll find some songs you like on his other CDs. If you get really hooked, track down his interview CD called "Midnight Train" and you'll find 8 songs with just him and the guitar along with some insightful conversations with Boo Hewerdine. One other Darden Smith CD that's worth tracking down is "Evidence," which he recorded with Boo Hewerdine. This is a strong singer/songwriter CD, too, and I highly recommend it.I know that "Trouble No More" has been around for a while, but I've listened to it more than any CD I own over the past 10 years. It's great acoustic music. If you like singer/songwriters who play acoustic guitar without layers of electric instruments competing with the words to the song, you should track down a copy of this CD. Don't get me wrong, there is a band on the CD but the words and the singing take the forefront."
This music speaks to me
Glen Engel Cox | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 07/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I vividly recall buying this album and bringing it back home, putting it into the player, and simply sitting back on the couch realizing that this was the type of music that spoke directly to me.More than ten years later and I still think this is a great album. I can put this album on and listen to every song on it without feeling the urge to press the skip button, and if I'm in the car alone, I'm singing along at full voice. And because of how I remember so vividly when I bought this album, listening to it inevitably reminds me of Los Angeles, the first time I had lived outside of Texas. In Austin, Darden's home town and mine for five years, I had never gotten into the local music scene. I knew of Darden from a small local hit on KLBJ, a duet with Boo Hewerdine called "All I Want (Is Everything)." But none of that prepared me for Trouble No More, which sounded to me, after a year in Los Angeles, like nothing but home itself.The album accomplishes this partly through Darden's slightly accented voice, which has a slight Texas twang, unnoticeable except for the pronounciation of certain words (as compared to, say, the noticeable accents of Lou Ann Barton, Richard Thompson, or The Proclaimers). There's a country tinge to the music as well, which mainly relies on Darden's acoustic guitar as its main feature. But most of all, I think of home because of the lyrics, which reference a combination of religion, settings, situations, and people that I know intimately.The album starts off with a slowly building song called "Midnight Train," that begins with a repeated acoustic guitar part that sounds a lot like the motion of a train. As the song moves along, it slowly adds more instruments and layers until it drives to the end with locomotive intensity. The lyrics are about lost dreams, brought up by the sound of a midnight train passing by while the narrator lays in bed.The next song, "Frankie and Sue," is one of the most upbeat of Darden's career. Based on a real story of some friends of his who didn't realize that they loved each other until one moved to Hong Kong, it has a bright, bubbly bounce to it that sounds like Brian Wilson meets Lyle Lovett, especially in the nice use of call-and-response background singers.Most of the songs are slower and intimate, internally reflective rather than stories about others. In this album, Darden relies heavily on cliches, which aren't quite as horrible when set to music as they are when you simply read them. He often plays off them, mutating them into something of his own, but not so much in "All the King's Horses," a song where he laments a love affair beyond reconciliation.The most powerful songs on this album are the ones where Darden mixes his down-home sound with the imagery of Christianity, which he does in both the title song and "2000 Years," whose chorus pleads, "Answer my prayers / If there's anyone up there / 'cause 2000 years is a mighty long time / If you're going to call me home, now's the time." In "Trouble No More," the background singers become a church choir that join in assuring us all that "someday...when the burden has lifted / you won't have trouble no more."The album ends with a soft song with some of the best imagery in the album, where the songwriter and his guitar (with a understated harmonica in the background) pair in a most unusual love song. "You soil me, you stain me, I could never come clean / there's a wrinkle on my heart you wouldn't believe." All because the narrator knows that he needs his love, and that only that love could rescue him from the "Bottom of a Deep Well."I'm not sure that others would be as affected by this album as I am. We all come upon books and music, movies and plays, with our gathered experiences, the baggage of both where we have been and what we've decided to keep from it. For me, though, this is an album that defines me, that offers me solace, and that continues to reward me upon repeated listening."
His best CD
Glen Engel Cox | 03/04/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first Darden Smith CD I bought. On the first playing, it began to grab me with the first song, and got better and better. Every song from "2000 Years" through "Listen to My Own Voice" is outstanding, lyrically, sonically, vocals, everything. To this day these are among my favorite songs. Loving this record caused me to buy everything else I could find with his name on it, but while there were moments, nothing ever matched that handful of great songs on this CD. I hate to say it, because artists hope that they are growing, but this older one is the one to have."