Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down
First Appeared at The Music Box, March 2001, Volume 8, #3
Written by John Metzger
Whether R.L. Burnside's music falls into the blues or rock genre is open to debate. Sure, his songs are the embodiment of the north Mississippi Hill Country sound, but he also brings to the table a feisty edginess full of funk and hip-hop beats that makes his albums seem more suited to the rock 'n‘ roll bin.
Burnside's latest effort Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down is stoked with passion, and a mournful darkness pervades the disc. The way that Burnside contemplates his family's brushes with death on Hard Time Killing Floor and R.L.'s Story is ghostly and frightening. Likewise the usage of electronics and DJ scratches adds an eerie underbelly to Got Messed Up.
At the age of 74, it's truly remarkable how Burnside has stayed in touch with modern music and incorporated its elements into his own style. The ambience he consistently creates ties perfectly to his pain-fueled personal lyrics and raw, penetrating vocals. It's unfortunate that just a few short years ago no one really knew who Burnside was. But if he continues to create albums like Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down, that's sure to change. ½
Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down is available
from Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2001 The Music Box