6. Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill
@ first listen this immediately felt like vintage Neil Young… and it still does, especially on the 3 best songs: Ramada Inn, Walk like a Giant and Driftin’ Back. The lenght of these 3 songs combined lands at about 60 min! Long guitar driven songs where Crazy Horse holds the fort while a liberated Neil Young shines in this wonderful noisy landscape. These songs are not as good as the classics Cowgirl In The Sand & Down By The River, but they are close… Ramada Inn is closest.
The other songs on the album are much weaker, but who cares… we got 60 bloody minutes in Neil Young & Crazy Horse heaven!
- Egil: Ramada Inn, Walk like a giant and Driftin’ Back
- Hallgeir: Ramada Inn, Walk like a giant and Driftin’ Back
7. Bill Fay – Life is people
“There are miracles in the strangest of places”
I didn’t know who Bill Fay was until I heard Life is people, but I’ve since read myself up on this so called “cult-artist”, his music is wonderful. This album is long overdue and it is a great come-back record. Bill Fay’s first album since 1971!..and it is only his third proper release.
This is spritual music, music full of wisdom and serene honesty. It’s as if Van Morrison and Randy Newman decided to make music together. The album is loaded with strong melodies and meditative lyrics.
…and Jeff Tweedy guests.
Melodic, spiritual and a fantastic come-back
- Egil: Never Ending Happening, There is a Valley, Jesus Etc & The Healing Day
- Hallgeir: The Healing Day, There is a valley, The Coast no man can tell and Jesus, Etc.
8. Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
I’ve got no future, I know my days are few
Mortality, Death & loss mixed with Warm Humor….
I love to speak with Leonard
He’s a sportsman and a shepherd
He’s a lazy bastard
Living in a suit….
(from “Going Home”)
Yearning, spirituality, love, lust, and this heavenly voice (He was 77 when recording the album) that still makes me shiver, his brilliant live-band helps out, this is a Leonard Cohen in top form.
- Egil: Darkness, Going Home & Show Me The Place
- Hallgeir: Going Home, Anyhow and Darkness
9. Iris Dement – Sings the Delta
“I stopped in the church to pray
it was the middle of the day
and I don’t even know if I believe in God”
– The Kingdom has already come (Iris Dement)
“Iris’s songs talk about isolated memories of life, love and living.”
– John Prine
What a return after 16 years! It is the same theme, love, family, religion, hard life and memories, but Iris Dement it at the top of her game. And her game is at the highest level. The songs are often dark and about death, but at the same time they are achingly beautiful.
Dark traditional country, beautifully sung.
- Egil: The Night I learned how not to pray, Sing the Delta & Before The Colors Fade
- Hallgeir: The Night I learned how not to pray, Sing the Delta and Morning Glory
10. Calexico – Algiers
Don’t wanna be alone for long
I don’t wanna be on this dark road alone
I read somewhere that Calexico’s music was labeled Tex-Mex Noir, that captures my view on their music to the point. I think Calexico is having a very good period as a band, all albums from 2003’s Feast of Wire have been great. Calexico has relocated to New Orleans for this record, but the band still deftly mixes Americana, mariachi, country, jazz and indie rock to create something instantly recognisable. Thankfully, it sounds like Calexico.
Algiers’ sonic landscape is fascinating, they still manage to evoke a distint feeling of space and place, I get transported to that little bar on the Mexican border, I can still taste the tequila.
Music with a stong sense of place, and they get better and better.
- Egil: Fortune Teller, Epic, Sinner In The Sea
- Hallgeir: Epic, Fortune Teller and Para
Link to the complete LIST