Disclosure: I got this CD for free
As I posted earlier, I’ve seen Carrie Rodriguez play in Newcastle – a great voice and a great fiddle player. There’s little evidence of the fiddle here (a couple of tracks do highlight it – “Eldorado” for one) but the voice is great, as are the songs. I’ve had this CD a while, and it has been played a lot, worming into my head.
It seems as if Carrie is trying to broaden her horizons, and with them her appeal and audience. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Carrie has written or co-written most of the songs (many with Gary Louris of The Jayhawks), and many of them seem to tell of love lost, unrequited, forgotten, forlorn, etc. (“Rag Doll”, “Absence”, “The Big Mistake”). She sounds real sad on some of these tunes, sounding at times like Alanis Morissette. On others she seems to be struggling with the political situation (joined by Lucinda Williams on “Mask of Moses”) as well as the social situation in the USA (“Infinite Night”)
I love the sound of this album – there’s an atmospheric, layered approach to the tracks – instruments fade in and out as they are needed – everything seems to be exactly where it needs to be. There’s tasty guitar textures too – pedal steel, mandolin and tenor guitar all add to the feel.
I find the album very relaxing – melancholic overall, true, but it leaves me feeling better than when I started listening to it – so it is a success right there.