Nils Lofgren - Sacred Weapon

Nils Lofgren
Sacred Weapon

(Vision Music)

First Appeared in The Music Box, November 2006, Volume 13, #11

Written by John Metzger


Best known as a sideman for Neil Young and, more recently, Bruce Springsteen, guitarist Nils Lofgren has managed, over the course of the past 31 years, to amass a rather sizeable body of his own work. Unfortunately, his output, much like that of other guns for hire, has been, at best, spotty and inconsistent. In recent years, Lofgren has distanced himself from any sort of label affiliation, and although he now has the freedom to pursue a more eclectic agenda, the paths he traverses still donít always bear fruit. His latest effort Sacred Weapon ó which features guest appearances by Willie Nelson, Martin Sexton, Mary Ann Redmond, David Crosby, and Graham Nash ó is the 17th solo album of his career, and while it undeniably is flawed, it does fare better than many of his endeavors. Generally speaking, Lofgren runs into trouble whenever he relies too heavily upon his quirky sense of humor, and not surprisingly, both the dated, í80s-style rock of Fat Girls Dance and the gospel-blues work song Pay Your Woman are little more than pedestrian filler. Elsewhere, he effectively uses his guitar to add a muscular bite to both Mr. Hardcore and Youíre Not There, while Come a Day obtains its grand stance from its ebullient, Springsteen-ian arrangement. Nevertheless, itís the stripped down tracks ó such as the effortless, Texas-brewed folk of In Your Hands; the delicate, twinkling beauty of Comfort Your Love Brings; and the mournful yearning of Whiskey Holler ó that succeed not only in sustaining the affair but also in transforming it into something more than just a passing curiosity. starstarstar

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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2006 The Music Box