Customer Review

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars inconsistent, but timeless classic from a great songwriter, 28 Mar. 2007
This review is from: Delta Momma Blues (Audio CD)
amount of tracks:10
excellent:2
v.good:3
good:1
fair:5
poor:0

first things first - amazon have given the WRONG traclklisting for this album above - the listing theyve given is for the album 'flying shoes' another very good album but not the one we are concerned with here

that townes was a truly great songwriter there can be no doubt. as a storyteller in the folk/country tradition hes up there with the best. what let him down was that for every work of genius theres something very ordinary right next to it. all his albums suffer from this, some more than others. when his work is at its best its probably the best theres ever been, eclipsing even dylan,young,williams,nelson. and every album has at least one truly great song on it so they are all worth buying.its just that theres a lot of stuff out there that frankly is just plain ok and not a lot more- though townes voice and delivery always makes even his mediocre songs at least worth a try, its very frustrating to sit through his albums and be hit with such extremes of quality within the space of one or two songs
this album is a good example. while none of townes work can ever be described as 'bad' - there are definately some tracks here that just dont do much. the album starter 'ffv', a traditional song, is a strange start to the album, being an obscure kind of lyric and frankly not that interesting. 'turnstyled,junkpiled' and 'where i lead me' are ok but not that great. whilst 'brand new companion' and the title track are just boring blues numbers that add nothing to the mix at all.
that leaves 5 tracks, but now things get interesting - 'only him or me, and 'come tomorrow' are just townes and his guitar talking love and broken hearts and both are extremely effective little numbers, townes voice at its poignant best. 'tower song' is more of the above but more so and is a heartbreakingly sad song. the best is saved for the last two songs on the album though, namely 'rake' and 'nothin' - starting with the latter, rarely has there been a bleaker song anywhere than this. a fantastic, poetic lyric delivered in a monotone drawl that reeks of loneliness and despair. and the former, 'rake' well, this has got to be one of the best songs ever written with a truly beguiling lyric charting the torments of a mans life.
im a great fan of townes van zandt, and when hes at his best, as in the 5 songs mentioned above, theres no one around to touch him. but its one thing to be a fan and another to just blindly say that everything he touched was great, cos it plainly wasnt. but every album hes made is worth buying simply because among the inconsistencies there are songs of true greatness - some of the greatest songs ever written. and for that reason they are all indispensible works. what a legacy. what a great loss.
a man who was basically ignored during his lifetime but who was truly one of the best songwriters who ever lived
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