Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
on 6 August 2008
I'm afraid I was sadly disappointed in the latest offering by Mr. Cooder. Perhaps being British, and not in possession of the novella which apparently explains what the album is all about may have something to do with my lack of enthusiasm. Mr. Cooder is not a singer, and someone in his entourage should tell him so. His voice has a very limited range, and his singing appears to be strained. We are given two talking "songs" out of 14 on the album, which is an indication that too much of the Cooder vocals is not a good thing. In Chavez Ravine, he found some fine songs,the best of them written by others, and some fine singers, and assembled a package which was a delight. But since he has decided to do all the composing and all the singing, on Buddy as on Flathead, the magic has,I'm afraid, disappeared. The Johnny Cash song sounds as if it was made up in a bar on a Saturday night -indeed it's almost disrespectful, whilst his obsession with J.Edgar Hoover resurfaces
unnecessarily. And why ration the wonderful accordion player to one song? Arranging new sound combinations, and finding good tales and ,crucially, characterful singers connected to those tales, are what Mr.C. does best,in my opinion.