DESERT AFTER RAIN

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I JUST NEED SOMEONE TO TELL ME HOW TALL I AM

Review: Americana UK

By Mark Phillips

Road Movies: 4.5 (out of 5) stars

There’s a no-doubt apocryphal story about how Minibar managed to get Ryan Adams to part with the Whiskeytown song “Choked Up” as a result of getting him back to his Hollywood hotel on a beer-finding expedition. What is true, at least, is that Pneumonia and Road Movies have the same engineer, Rick Will, and that “Choked Up” never made as far as Whiskeytown’s posthumous release. Adams songs or not, London boys Minibar shipped over to LA lock stock 3 years ago, and managed to get a US record deal on the back of their first two LA gigs. Ironic, really, as most UK majors would now do just about anything to get a roots-pop-rock band of this quality on their roster. None of which tells you much about the music, so let’s start by saying that this USA-only release should put the Cosmic’s saddened fans out of their misery, as this is an even better (if slightly more mainstream) record than Melodic Sunshine. Honeyed mellowness drips out of almost every groove, a visceral down to earth blues quality the counterpoint, and blinding pop songs fly at you in packs. Producer T Bone Burnett fleshes out the LA / Nashville connection, adding a sonic integrity so often found in his work with Gillian Welch. The best tunes are “Holiday from Myself” an epic slice of Californian pop, “Choked Up” with it’s neat piano riff and great harmony vocal, and “So Long Soho”, a touching, dark, farewell ballad to that closest of London companions, the claustrophobic hedonist streets off Shaftesbury and Oxford. All in all a stormer- and available at nearly UK prices from Amazon, as long as you don’t mind waiting a little while. Go buy.

From Americana UK


Last updated: Oct 01, 2006 - 03:51 PM PDT

Fly Below The Radar
buyourstuff.com | Foodchain
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The Unstoppable EP
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Road Movies
Miles of Music | Amazon | B&N
CD Universe | My Music | Tower


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