First Appeared at The Music Box, April 2004, Volume 11, #4
Written by John Metzger
Throughout his career, Graham Parker has danced around the fringes of country music without ever succumbing completely to its earthy overtones, making his latest outing Your Country somewhat of a departure from, as well as a logical extension of, his pub-rock sound. Nevertheless, one canít help but feel that while the idea is a good one, the execution of it is somewhat of a mixed bag. Lyrically, the songs are solid, featuring Parkerís caustic sense of humor (Tornado Alley), his panoramic vision (Fairground), and his bittersweet views of love (Things Iíve Never Said). Likewise, the music is certainly enjoyable, owing a tremendous debt to Bob Dylan while adding splashes of the Rolling Stones (Anything for a Laugh), Lou Reed (Nation of Shopkeepers), and Tom Petty (The Rest Is History) for good measure. He even offers an amiable rendition of the Grateful Deadís Sugaree. Somewhere along the line, however, Parker loses sight of himself and his contributions to rock ínĎ roll. As a result, Your Country falters and winds up feeling more like Dylanís mediocre, but enjoyable, Under the Red Sky than his classic Blonde on Blonde ó or Parkerís own Howliní Wind, for that matter. Ĺ
Of Further Interest...
Your Country is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box