Rock & Pop CD Reviews

The Birmingham Post (England), February 3, 2001 | Go to article overview

Rock & Pop CD Reviews


Byline: Mike Davies

DOLLY PARTON Little Sparrow (Sanctuary): It's 43 years since Parton's first recording, 34 since her debut album, but while her commercial fortunes have dimmed since her glory days, critically she's never been as well respected since her Hungry Again musical rebirth and her return to her bluegrass roots with last year's The Grass Is Blue kicked into touch the outdated image of big wig and bigger bust.

Originally conceived as an album of folk tunes, as signified by the title track's borrowings from Fair and Tender Ladies, this finally resolved itself as an acoustic Appalachian mountain music mix of bluegrass, traditional and Irish.

With Parton's little girl voice now seasoned with age and wisdom and joined by guests that include Altan, Alison Krauss and Maura OConnell, it embraces an emotional spectrum from the jubilation of Bluer Pastures to the aching poignancy of Tender Lie, marrying self-penned songs (including gorgeously plaintive Celtic hued reworks of My Blue Tears and Down From Dover) with such choice covers as a spirited jazz-grass reading of I Get A Kick Out Of You, a heel-kicking fiddle flying Seven Bridges Road and, by way of expectation confounding, even a banjo plucking bluegrass interpretation of Collective Soul's Shine.

Whether good-timing it to mountain-swing classic I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby or reaching into the spiritual heart of the traditional In The Sweet By And By, this not only stands as one of the finest albums of her career but fully justifies being ranked alongside the recent Emmylou Harris as a reminder that the original pioneers are still carrying the standard and laying down the influences in the roots-country revival. Rating: HHHH

Mike Davies

JAMES GRANT My Thrawn Glory (Vertical) Having never been a fan of Scottish blue-eyed soul outfit Love and Money, it came as a surprise to be knocked out by Grant's 1996 solo debut, Sawdust in My Veins. So, good news to report that the follow-up continues to mine the musical exploration of his Celtic roots with a passionate intensity, dressing the songs in glorious cascading melodies and hooks.

Again working with musician-producer Donald Shaw and featuring backing vocals from now regular collaborator, Capercaillie's Karen Matheson, it's a soulful work in the truest sense, Grant's contemporary laments often evoking vocal comparisons (albeit not quite as resonant) to equally underrated countryman Jackie Leven while several of the numbers let rip with the sort of guitar solos that give adult rock a decent name.

Lyrically, there's a prevalent resigned, weary mood with lines like 'from the ditch my tears I choke' (Belle of My Burlesque), the bitterness of 'the only way you're gonna feel yourself again is to get revenge' (Blood Is Sweeter Than Honey) and a despairing 'does it all add up to nothing?'.

And yet ultimately, optimism shines through, finding inspiration in a pair of women's shoes, melancholically beautiful songs like My Dark Country, Lodestar Rising, and Hey Renee suffused with the sense that, if you throw off 'all your useless worries', the world can be a wonderful, liberating place. ' I chased the clouds, here I am' he sings in the title track. You could do worse than join him. Rating: HHHH

Mike Davies

SPOOKS S.I.O.S.O.S Volume 1 (Antra): Tired of waiting for the new Fugees album? Then try this. It's pop rap packed with hooks, nifty rhyming and sweet female vocals. Oh, and swearing from the Bernard Manning school. In fact the very blueprint that made The Score such a hit. Don't dismiss Spooks as a bunch of opportunists though. This album has the stamp of authority all over it. From the booming opener, Other Script, through the insanely catchy single Things I've Seen to the darker moments such as the closing Murder, this debut has all the signs of being hot-housed in some secret hip-hop lab to be unleashed when it's likely to cause the most possible damage. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Rock & Pop CD Reviews
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.