3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A very good album,
This review is from: Still Fighting The War (Audio CD)
This is a very good album with some truly excellent highlights. Slaid Cleaves is a Texas singer through and through which gives this a country/Americana feel with no slick Nashville gloss and the album really benefits from it, sounding sincere throughout and featuring memorable, often very thoughtful and intelligent songs.
I tried this because the great Eliza Gilkyson collaborates on one track (the excellent In The Rain) and I can see why she would want to. Cleaves is a very good songwriter and singer with a slightly creaky, weary voice which brings great atmosphere to the songs. They deal with varied themes - love and loss, of course, but also the tough life of a working man in hard times in Rust Belt Fields, a tribute to yodeller Don Walser, the genuinely very witty Texas Love Song and, in the superb title track, the terrible problems of a returning soldier trying to live a civilian life (which reminded me strongly of Kevin Powers' wonderful book The Yellow Birds).
Not every song is top-quality (I think Without Her and Hometown USA are a bit ordinary, for example) and some of the lead guitar work is competent but not terribly inspiring, but as an album I think it works extremely well, with some quite brilliant songs (a couple of which wouldn't be out of place on a Springsteen album) and fine singing and playing. This has been a very pleasurable discovery for me, and I recommend it warmly.