Friday, March 28, 2008
No. 429: Grievous Angel
Band: Gram Parsons
Album: Grievous Angel
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: Gram Parsons' final album was recorded just weeks before Parson's death. Teaming with Emmylou Harris, Parsons' voice fills the country tracks he wrote and the country standards they played.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: I like the Flying Burrito Brothers, but Parsons' solo stuff is way too country for me.
Best song: "Hearts on Fire" is a great, great track.
Worst song: I don't love "Ooh Las Vegas."
Is it awesome?: Eh.
Gram Parsons is a wonderful songwriter and Emmylou Harris has a beautiful voice. Parsons' writing is wry and clever, his band is tight and cool. Their sound is clever.
But, here's the thing: I hear this record and all that fills my mind is the episode of the Simpsons where Homer becomes an agent for a country singer. The episode features a country-western bar and a TV show called "Ya-Hoo!," a parody of "Hee-Haw."
So... I, uh, can't really speak to the efficacy of this record. I really like "Hearts on Fire" and the "Medley Live from Northern Quebec," but this enjoyment came solely from the vocals. Fiddles and slide guitar just don't do it for me.
I hear this record and I think of the townie bar where I went to college, full of toothless truckers and cheap American beer. It's down the street from the gun shop and Regina's, the grosser of the town's two strip clubs.
I, as you can see, am an extremely prejudiced man.