Sound Bites: Audio Reviews
The Associated Press
Jan. 04, 2000
``Murder on Music Row'' (Shell Point Records) _ Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time
Larry Cordle is best known as a songwriter, with tunes recorded by such stars as Garth Brooks, George Strait, George Jones, Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood. So it's no surprise that the songs are strong on his bluegrass band's new release, ``Murder on Music Row.''
The 13 tunes _ seven co-written by Cordle _ are closer to country than most material coming out of Nashville these days, and the record is all the better for it. That's clear by the second cut, ``Black Diamond Strings,'' a wistful ode to guitar strings. Cordle sings about the death of traditional country music on the title cut and comes up with Nashville's couplet of the year on ``Jesus and Bartenders'': ``One man offers comfort from the cross/the other only comfort on the rocks.''
Cordle's original tunes mesh nicely with the covers, which include instrumentals by J.D. Crowe (``Black Jack'') and Buck White (``Buck's Run'').
The performances are worthy of the material. Cordle's lead vocals have plenty of personality, and Lonesome Standard Time provides an excellent supporting cast, with bracing harmonies and instrumental breaks that are finger-snappin' good.
_ By Steven Wine, Associated Press Writer.
``Peace'' (Arista Records) _ Eurythmics
In recent TV appearances pushing their new record ``Peace,'' Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart marked their reunion as Eurythmics with a stripped-down, straight ahead rock 'n' roll approach. Too bad they didn't do the same on the actual record.
While the pop duo's first joint effort in 10 years is definitely listenable, it is nowhere near as compelling as Eurythmics' previous work. And the fault lies in the overproduction that almost drowns out Lennox, still the best female voice in rock today. It also distracts from some fine, albeit overly cynical lyrics that get at the heart of what it means to get older in a youth-based culture.
The duo does get it right on three straight songs in the middle that save the record. The ethereal ``Peace Is Just a Word'' highlights Lennox's range and Stewart's ability to cut back the production; ``I've Tried Everything'' features Lennox's soaring vocals undercutting the cynical line: ``You're a loser now.''
``I Want It All'' is Eurythmics at its best _ Lennox tears chunks out of a tune with double meaning while Stewart tears into guitar licks with equal fervor. The overall record may not live up to these standards, but at least Eurythmics gave us these gems, with the hope for more.
_ By James Pilcher, Associated Press Writer.