31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive (Audio CD)
Like others, I approached this record with some degree of trepidation- largely on account of its immediate ability to divide opinion among the man's most devoted admirers. Is it going to be as good or as disappointing as others declare? Well, my own response on taking the plunge was one of astonishment. The very first track caused my jaw to drop in wonderment of what met my ears. And as one track followed another it slowly dawned on me that I wasn't listening to a rather fine Steve Earle offering, I was listening to one of his very best. I've read that Steve attempts nothing new here, but he most certainly does. No previous album of his sounds like this one. The sonic landscape is carefully crafted to suit the tone of the songs & there are some remarkable songs here, at least a few of which are surely destined to be classed as classics. Highlights include the opening 'Waitin' On The Sky' (having been brought up in a military town beneath a big sky, I know exactly what he's singing about), 'The Gulf Of Mexico', 'This City' . . . & then there's 'Every Part Of Me'. The is probably the most direct love song I've ever heard. On paper, the lyrics don't seem to add up to much but the performance is breathtaking, utterly convincing & very moving. It really is rather special & I absolutely dread the prospect of it being subjected to a cover version by a contestant in some televised singing contest.
Have played the whole album three times now & it's impressed more with each hearing. I'm going to stick my neck out here & suggest that this is likely to be very influential on younger musicians. This is the work of a master craftsman in his maturity who succeeds in conveying far more genuine feeling by playing with a restraint that teems with rich musical detail. It is an album of haunting blasted beauty & I've never been able to say that about a Steve Earle record before. Personally, I think the guy just served an ace.