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Old 07-02-2013, 11:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
Trollheart
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Artiste: Blue Sky Riders
Album: Finally home
Released: 2013
Label: 3Dream
Producer: Unsure, but I wouldn't be surprised if it weren't the three of them...

Brief intro: I played this album and loved it from the start, then was surprised to find it is from what I guess would be termed a "Country supergroup", though the only name I know is that of Kenny Loggins, and Blue Sky Riders are more or less seen as his project. Personally I think that this is the record that could change your mind about Country music in the same way Nanci Griffith and Steve Earle did for me, a long time ago. One thing that really shines here is the quality of the vocal harmonies on the songs. You can hear a lot of rock and Country influences on this album, such as Springsteen, Earle, Mellencamp, Seger and Heart. This is Country, but not as we know it. Really.

Note: I haven't been able to find information on who wrote the songs, so have left that field off this micro-review.

1. I''m a rider (Finally home)

Length: 3:03
Style: Rock
Lyric: Coming home
Rating: 8
Main melody: Guitar, Organ


2. How's that workin' for ya?

Length: 3:53
Style: Country ballad
Lyric: Has it been worth what you've lost to have gained what you wanted?
Rating: 9
Main melody: Piano, Guitar


3. Little victories

Length: 4:05
Style: Slow acoustic
Lyric: Little things get you through the day
Rating: 9
Main melody: Acoustic guitar, violin
Notes: Georgia on lead vocal; some really nice vocal harmonies too. A very Nanci Griffith-ish song.

4. Just say yes

Length: 3:34
Style: Mid-paced country rock
Lyric: Keep hoping and dreaming
Rating: 8
Main melody: Guitar, Organ


5. Feelin' brave


Length: 4:40
Style: Uptempo rock
Lyric: Take your chances while they're there
Rating: 8
Main melody: Guitar


6. You're not the boss of me

Length: 3:50
Style: Uptempo sort of bar-rock/Country
Lyric: Ain't gonna bow down (You couldn't have figured that out from the title?)
Rating: 6
Main melody: Piano, Organ


7. Another spring

Length: 3:28
Style: Soft Country ballad
Lyric: Waiting for better times
Rating: 8
Main melody: Acoustic guitar


8. Dream

Length: 3:31
Style: Hard rocky (sorta), almost AOR
Lyric: The things I hope to achieve in my life
Rating: 9
Main melody: Guitar
Notes: Very reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac/Heart

9. A thousand wild horses

Length: 2:58
Style: Slow ballad
Lyric: Dangerous to fall in love again
Rating: 10
Main melody: Acoustic guitar, Accordion
Notes: I just love the imagery in this song. If you only listen to one track on this album, listen to this one.

10. I get it

Length: 4:00
Style: Uptempo Rock
Lyric: Basic love song
Rating: 6
Main melody: Guitar, Harmonica
Notes: Not a bad song, but the album starts to take a serious dive in quality here. Just a little generic for my tastes.

11. Say I like it

Length: 3:28
Style: Uptempo rock
Lyric: Bah, basic lovey-dovey stuff
Rating: 5
Main melody: Guitar
Notes: Georgia on vocals again


12. Windeer woman


Length: 4:43
Style: Slow acoustic ballad with folk elements
Lyric: Rekindling love and marriage vows
Rating: 7
Main melody: Acoustic guitar
Notes: No, I don't know what a Windeer woman is...

13. As luck would have it

Length: 3:55
Style: Uptempo rock somewhat in the style of early Springsteen
Lyric: The vagaries of fate that throw two people together
Rating: 6
Main melody: Guitar, piano


14. You took the words (Right outta my mouth)

Length: 2:36
Style: Uptempo rock with a sort of acoustic leaning
Lyric: You can guess surely?
Rating: 7
Main melody: Guitar, Organ
Notes: NOT a cover of the Meat Loaf classic...

15. How about now

Length: 4:05
Style: Uptempo country
Lyric: Waiting for better days
Rating: 6
Main melody: Guitar, Fiddle


Closing comments: Laugh all you want, and some people will. The Country tag will put some off, while the involvement of Kenny "Footloose" Loggins will be another reason others will not listen to this album, but it will be to their detriment. This is Country Rock raised to a fine art, and deserves to be listened to. It's a pity it loses its way near the end and devolves into something really generic and typical of the genre, but even given that, the first eight or nine songs are strong enough to qualify this album as a success in my eyes, and definitely one I'll be listening to quite regularly.

Final Rating: 8/10 (loses points for the last three or four tracks)
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