Saturday, July 16, 2005

All Riot, No Melody

Okay, so I've listened to the new Son Volt all week and I'm starting to let it get to me. I still can't quite figure out whether or not I actually like it, but I've got a descent idea. It's good, but it's very difficult for me not to compare it to the other three Son Volt albums. That's a bad thing for Okemah.

Man do I miss the Farrar of ten years ago. I really long for the Farrar of Uncle Tupelo and the other Son Volt. Jay's solo stuff was, well, okay. At least Okemah seems to be a slight turn back to what he does best. He's cut from the same cloth as Graham Parsons, John Fogerty, and Neil Young, and he writes his best when he's in that mindset. Not to drudge back in that old-hat comparison, but Wilco.....Wilco had a sound that was built for change. I loved the sound of A.M. and Being There, but evolution was necessary. For Jay, it was not. If Jay never dove into experimental waters and was still writing the same songs from Anodyne and Trace I would be content. I really miss those days.

This is not to say I don't like Omekah, but it's just not quite there. There are some very strong songs ("Bandages & Scars," "Afterglow 61," "Atmosphere," "Medication"), but as a whole it's just not great. It's listenable, but it won't take too long for me to push it aside and pull Trace back out. It's just lacking the intimacy of his earlier work. Overall Omekah shows a ton of promise.....but it doesn't matter because I'll still get everything Jay puts out. It's just a matter of whether or not I'll bitch about it or not.

By the way, in a couple of hours my third decade will be half over....a quarter century. Hooray!