I gots me a couple of new CD’s: The Decemberists – Picaresque, Solomon Burke – Make Do With What You Got, Matt Sweeney and Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Superwolf, Great Lake Swimmers, British Sea Power – Open Season, Kathleen Edwards – Back To Me, Vic Chesnutt – Ghetto Bells.
Solomon Burke – It’s a covers record. Generally, the quality of the covers is good, and some are even inspired, but this album comes nowhere near his last dynamite outing, “Don’t Give Up On Me”. This album is sort of an unsatisftying sequel to that album, like the Godfather Part 3, in a musical sense. If you don’t already own “Don’t Give Up On Me”, you should go out and buy it now.
The Decemberists – After repeated listens, I like this album, but i don’t think it is great, I would call it a solid B maybe. It has at least two very good songs, “Eli, The Barrowboy” and “Of Angels and Angles”. But I think Meloy tries a little too hard on the traditional tunes, “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” and “The Bagman’s Gambit”, and ultimately, he comes up short. This album will probably please die hard fans, but I don’t think it will win them an army of new ones. Despite my excitement for this album, I would recommend Castaways and Cutouts much before it.