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Old 08-07-2008, 03:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
Pale and Wan
 
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Default The John Butler Trio - Grand National



Released by Jarrah Records in 2007

1. Better Than - 3:29
2. Daniella - 4:16
3. Funky Tonight - 5:27
4. Caroline - 3:48
5. Good Excuse - 3:26
6. Used To Get High - 4:28
7. Gov Did Nothin - 8:04
8. Groovin' Slowly - 4:32
9. Devil Running - 4:49
10. Losing You" - 3:47
11. Nowhere Man - 3:21
12. Fire In The Sky - 5:46
13. Gonna Take It - 4:44


The John Butler Trio is an Aussie roots band, their first two albums were both highly successful for an independent artist. Their third album, Grand National, released in 07 is their strongest album to date, showing the trio diversifying their sound even more.

The opening track is the infectious "Better Than", kicking things off with Butler's catchy fingerplucking acoustic guitar. The lyrics are slightly preachy, "Life's not about what's better than.", but never to the point of irritation.

Next up is "Daniella", a funk esque ode to Butler's wife. It opens with harmonica before bringing in beatboxing and dj scratching. The upbeat mood is continued in the frenetic "Funky Tonight", which features some more mindblowing finger plucking guitar.

The first ballad comes courtesy of "Caroline", it starts off a little flatly with some solid but uninteresting instrumentation, and the morbid lyrics clash a little with the previous mood, "Her papa loved her so much you could see
Loved her too much if you know what I mean".

But it is saved by the ending, building into a soaring crescendo with mournful violins.

"Good Excuse" and "Used to Get High" are two energetic, hook laden laments about the ills of modern society, and keep the momentum flowing nicely into the firey protest track "Gov did nothing." which focusses on the crumbling society of Australian aboriginals, and our governments indifference, "But do you really think that the Gov would do nothin'
If all those people were white"

The lyrics are great and the music is also very strong, with some twangy electric guitar but the track opens with the noises of the bush and closes with a full horns segment, both of which drag on a bit too long.

The lowest point in the album is the down tempo, reggae influenced "Groovin slowly." But recovers quickly in "Devil Running" before taking another slight dip with two just above mediocore tracks before Butler's fingerplucking makes a return in "Fire in the Sky", an anti-war track from the perspective of a terrorist.

Overall a very strong album which I would recomend to everyone. The incorporation of the new styles shows the Trio's growth as a band and this is definitely their best work to date.

8/10

Last edited by Fruitonica; 01-28-2009 at 03:54 AM.
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Old 08-07-2008, 04:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Damn and I thought this was a new album from the band 'Grand National'

It is usually band first and then release in the title. I will change it around. Sounds intriguing though.
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Old 08-07-2008, 05:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks
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