Friday, July 07, 2006

Kris Kristofferson - This Old Road

I saw this album in the used bin at my local record store in late January. I knew it must be pretty new 'cause of its '06 date, but I hadn't heard anything about it so I left it. I figured that if Kris Kristofferson put out a new album I would have heard about it if it was any good. Well, a couple weeks later, he's on the cover of No Depression and everyone's calling this CD his best in decades. Turns out someone had sold their promo copy to my local store even before the this had been released.

Well, it is a great album. Very sparse and atmospheric, yet not vapid as Kristofferson's lyrics come to the front. I could see comparisons to Cash's American Recordings, especially the character of the old voice. The production here, by Don Was, is much less obvious than Rick Rubin's on the American series, though. The songs are mostly rather sparse, with Kristofferson on guitar and harmonica with mandolin, drums, bass, and piano also appearing. The harmonica is rather Dylan-esque and complements Kristofferson's rough voice in a similar manner.

The lyrical content of this album is what you might expect of a lefty during a conservative political swing, particularly "In the News," which responds to the US-led occupation of Iraq as well as problems at home, and "Wild American," an ode to Steve Earle and others who have suffered for vocalizing their political beliefs. But Kristofferson's writing skills haven't lessened over the years and he once again proves his place as one of the great songwriters. He deals subtly with topics that might be approached more clumsily by lesser writers.

Kris Kristofferson - Thank You For a Life

From Amazon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Super color scheme, I like it! Good job. Go on.