Saturday, October 01, 2005 ... 10:43 AM
The falsetto sinks the ship
Listening to Jacksonville City Nights for the second time, I'm not sure I can come to any opinion without qualifying it: If he'd lose the strangled falsetto -- just give it up altogether; it's not working -- this album might be very good.
"Peaceful Valley," alight on my speakers right now like a tenement fire, is unsalvageable. Is it meant to be ironic? Impressionistic? Confrontational? Nihilistic? It amounts to unlistenable. But one crappy song sacrificed for an unpleasant impression is OK with me; coming away from it, I only want to know that Adams knows that it sounds awful. And then explain why this toxic approach contaminates many of the not-too-bad tunes here, such as "Trains."
Between Cold Roses and Jacksonville City Nights, there is enough material for one good -- not great, but good -- long-playing alt-country record.
You gotta hear a live peaceful valley, my friend.
Making Notes: Music of the Carolinas
(Novello Festival Press, April 2008)
includes my essay, "Link Wray"
Flop Eared Mule
The Celestial Monochord
Dig and Be Dug in Return
Modern Acoustic Magazine / Blog
The Old, Weird America
Honey, Where You Been So Long?
The Greensboro Review
Fried Chicken and Coffee
Mungo (This was the blog of my friend, the late Cami Park. Miss you, Cami.)
Cat and Girl
Film Freak Central