STYLE: Country RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 14951- LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Gareth Paul Taylor
These are "figuratively and literally songs from the wilderness," recorded in Rearick's childhood house in the Burrell Township "in the middle of nowhere" - genuine country! Rearick wrote seven of the 10 songs on this short CD - (he doesn't say which!) - as well as doing all singing, playing and engineering on the album. Unfortunately the adage "Jack of all trades." applies. Rearick should have imported some production expertise where lacking. The drum/percussion loop tracks are at best stilted, at worst odd; a computerised cowbell with a mind of its own frequently and conspicuously drops in and out at peculiar moments and tracks frequently end on inconclusive fills. Timing issues are rife, Jim's natural playing competing noticeably with unnaturally mechanical backings. Arrangements often lack cohesion. Cheesy '80s keyboard sounds are employed unsparingly. Much better are Rearick's acoustic stylings - some lovely finger-picking alongside competent piano-playing. Rearick delivers a half-spoken narrative vocal style like Don Francisco's; check out the humorous "Evolution Song". The songs do improve towards the end, but ultimately this is an enterprise which will remain obscure.
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