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Over There (in the UK)

September 25, 2002 at 7 PM

Autumn Rhythms

I walked into the music store today to pick up a couple new albums and found they were the very first and second albums on the rack of nouveautés. What a Mainstream Moment.

I won’t say much about those two albums since you’ve probably heard them already or will soon if you like either of the artists, but a couple spins on the headphones suggests both Peter Gabriel and Beck have met the high expectations that their fans (like me) maintain. Beck’s offering is a real cry-in-your-beer affair, but it’s a top quality brew and the tears are hot and sweet. Gabriel, meanwhile, is up to his usual tricks: one part killer hooks, one part world beat osmosis, and two parts flawless composition and production. Those tricks have rarely disappointed before and they don’t disappoint this time.

That said, what I will point out is another album I picked up after hearing a song therein on Definitely Not the Opera last weekend (DNTO being a fine source for good, new music). Bottom Dollar, from Prince Edward Islander Nathan Wiley, was released almost a year ago yet crossed into our field of view only recently. But it takes awhile, one imagines, for these things to make their way across the Confederation Bridge, around New Brunswick, and into the Canadian heartland.

Wiley offers a mature and cohesive set in the folk/alt-country/roots rock/whatever sound that is all the rage these days. Flavours of Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler, with a good salting of the blues, inhabit these eleven songs. What they lack in tonal originality they make up for in smooth, easy vocals, innovative instrumentation and smart, sharp production.

The elegant web site offers one full-length song for listening and adequate snippets of the others. Take a listen.

Comments

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Previously: News++

Subsequently: Rocket Robin Hood

September 2002
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