First Appeared in The Music Box, September 2007, Volume 14, #9
Written by John Metzger
Wed September 26, 2007, 05:45 AM CDT
Forty years ago, The Sadies would have been highly revered for its pioneering spirit. Today, the group simply sounds as if it is stuck in time. Despite tossing bits of more contemporary artists such as Gun Club, Tom Petty, and Alejandro Escovedo — on The First Inquisition (Part 4), Anna Leigh, and The Trial, respectively — into the fray of New Seasons, its latest endeavor, the band remains completely and totally unapologetic about its love of the five-year period that separated The Byrds’ Younger than Yesterday from America’s self-titled debut. Of course, The Sadies is neither the first nor the last outfit to mine this terrain, though at least the ground on which it treads is fertile enough to sustain it. The result of its pursuits hardly could be considered original, yet its approach is both unerringly flawless and wildly diverse.
Much like it did on its preceding endeavors, the Canadian quartet of Dallas and Travis Good, Mike Belitsky, and Sean Dean casts a wide net. Although The Sadies swerves from brisk acoustic country (Introduction) to psychedelic twang (What’s Left Behind) and from lighter-than-air, cosmic folk (Yours to Discover) to cinematic instrumental excursions [The Last Inquisition (Part 5)], the progression of New Seasons is impressively fluid. Over the course of the outing, the twisted, shadow-filled echoes that emanate from The Sadies’ guitars bathe its songs in an eerie, ghostly light that inevitably magnifies the troubled yearning of its tales of love and loss. Produced by The Jayhawks’ Gary Louris and featuring a guest appearance from Howe Gelb as well as familial input from Dallas and Travis Good’s father, mother, and uncles, New Seasons is hardly revelatory. Nevertheless, it sufficiently highlights everything that The Sadies does best, which is to repaint the Wild West in Technicolor splendor.
New Seasons 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 © 2007 The Music Box