STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 5429-5253 LABEL: Warner Resound WBD6309 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £2.50
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
Fresh from their Greenbelt performance, this compilation allows those who've newly hooked up with the band to catch up on five years of excellent music! Hailing from Athens, Georgia, there are inevitable stylistic comparisons with their more famous musical neighbours - REM. Musically, they may not be quite ploughing the same furrow but they're definitely in the same field. Some of the songs are even produced by Peter Buck! But don't let comparisons distract you from the real deal here - the impact and strength of Bill Mallonee's songwriting. From the anthemic "Struggleville" to the beautiful picture of Calvary and beyond in "Double Cure", if you've missed the incisive poetic songwriting of Mark Heard, the Vigilantes could restore your faith in the power of the rock song! Heard helped out with production duties on their earlier recordings which here include the classic "America". A tragic story of Mallonee's father failed by the American dream with a plaintive accordion adding a musical whimsy to the tragedy of the tale. Elsewhere, "Hopeless Is As Hopeless Does" and "When I'm Broken" rock while "Losin' It" and "Who Knows When The Sunrise Will Be" are more mellow but all explore struggle, failure and the mess of being human as well as the desire for grace without ever resorting to the thin platitudes and easy answers of so much CCM. This retrospective is a voyage of discovery into the Vigilante's music. Start that journey.
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