Friday, October 21, 2005

Red Dirt Girl: Album Review #3

Or 4 or 5, God I don't know. I think I reviewed the latest Social Distortion album, U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, Green Day's American Idiot and System of a Down. That's a whole lot of Rock N Roll. So I'll side step a bit to Country:


This album came out in 2000. My wife stumbled upon in it back when we got our first house by reading about it in the New Yorker. It got some very outstanding reviews when it came out. If there was ever a piece of music that you can say will stand the test of time, this is one of them. I don't know which part of the album is the best but Emmylou Harris put down some great lyrics and some smooth poetry to some of the most haunting sounds in modern music.

It's one of those albums that you can put in the cd player and not skip a song even if you were sure you hated country music. I noticed it is a mainstay on my iPod next to my Social D and Cracker music that I have spewed throughout my little sound box. If there is a track that stands out to me it would be the title track, Red Dirt Girl. The acoustic guitar with the thumping bass line and that resonating distorted guitar in the background start it off and then Emmylou's fantastic voice comes in. It sounds to me like it's a song about a best friend and some dreams, who's life has gone to tragedy. A dark song with a tremendous story about a girl in Alabama. Dreams, drugs, failure and death it's all there to fall apart together. Emmylou's voice on the choruses soar out of your speakers. If you have this album, keep your ear on that distorted guitar backing her... I think it bleeds the pain of the song.

"Bang the Drum Slowly" is another solid song. Borrowing a lyric from an old classic, "Streets of Laredo" she seems to sorta re-tell that story a little different.

The other highlight is the song "My Antonia" in which she is joined by Dave Matthews. The contrast between Dave's hippy blues voice and Emmylou's soaring crisp tones is awesome. They tell a sweet story of lost love. Not the story from the famous book but an original song who's beauty lies in the fact that the two characters in the story come to life through Emmylou's and Dave's voice... The power of Emmylou's voice is incredible in this story... I think that's Springsteen's harmonica on this track too as it gives him a credit on this album.

"Boy from Tupelo" is obviously about Elvis... What away to end an album with a nod to the King.

Looking for a good fall weather album, go grab this one. Almost guaranteed to be your favorite to but hey it's good stuff...

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