T-Bone Burnett - Proof Through The Night/Trap Door

Published Sunday 11th May 2008
T-Bone Burnett - Proof Through The Night/Trap Door
T-Bone Burnett - Proof Through The Night/Trap Door

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 46131-11393
LABEL: Rhino RHM27729

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

With the release of 'TwentyTwenty' last year, suddenly there was the opportunity to get some long deleted T Bone Burnett classic songs on CD! Now three projects from his back catalogue have had a limited release on CD and since they are my three favourite Burnett albums, there has been much rejoicing in the Rimmer household. Originally released in 1983, 'Proof Through The Night' is a hugely intelligent album as Burnett makes his observations about people, life and society. Three of the most impacting songs are those where he mixes spoken verses with sung choruses. "Fatally Beautiful" describes the life of a Marilyn Monroe type figure. "The Sixties" is a clever observation of the societal fallout from the most decadent of decades with Burnett the most preachy he's ever been on record. Albeit a subtle, intelligent preach! That preachyness continues on the other spoken song "Hefner And Disney" which examines the business of corrupted dreams in a very surreal allegorical narrative. This is all supremely clever stuff and Burnett is at the height of his songwriting powers. Other highlights are the catchy "Hula Hoop", the tender "After All These Years" and "When The Night Falls" which sounds like something Roy Orbison might have recorded which is very apt since Burnett wrote the song with Orbison in mind. Burnett has enough fans amongst fellow musicians and the album features guest appearances from the likes of Ry Cooder, The Who's Pete Townsend and Richard Thompson. 'Trap Door' was originally released as two 12 inch EPs 'Trap Door' in 1982 and 'Behind The Trap Door' in 1984. Working with guitarist David Mansfield, bassist David Miner and drummer David Kemper, the band had been gigging so the first half of this CD has a strong tight band feel which works especially well on "Hold On Tight" and the infectious rocking "I Wish You Could Have Seen Her Dance". There's an inventive cover version of Marilyn Monroe's "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" (really!) and the brilliant driving "Ridiculous Man". The title cut contains one of the best lines ever penned by a Christian songwriter: "It's a funny thing about humility, as soon as you know you're being humble, you're no longer humble." The songs from 'Behind The Trap Door' are generally more acoustic and darker in nature. Highlights are "Amnesia And Jealousy (Oh! Lana)" and the song he co-wrote with Bono "Having A Wonderful Time, Wish You Were Her". He's ever the hero at creating memorable song titles on "My Life And The Women Who Lived It" which is every bit as compelling as the title suggests! These brooding songs are full of intelligence, observation and insight and although the re-release is only on a limited edition of 5000, it's good to have this timeless music available again.

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