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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday March 2, 2010 New Music

I didn't think I was actually going to write a new music post for today, but this past weekend I read an article in the Washington Post's Arts & Entertainment section that got one of this week's releases on my radar. The article (which you can read here) was about Shooter Jennings and his new album Black Ribbons.

I don't know much about Shooter besides the fact that he is the son of the late, great Waylon Jennings and that his first name is pretty awesome, so this article was a bit of a surprise, especially this description of his new album:

His new album, "Black Ribbons," feels in tune with the rebel spirit of his father -- but certainly not the sound. Arriving Tuesday, it's a wildly ambitious, 70-minute rock opus splicing heavy-metal bombast with freedom-rock harmonies. There are pulsing synthesizers and Allman Brotherly guitar solos. There are songs about fame and Armageddon. There are backup vocals from Colter (ed. note: his mother, Jessi Colter) and skits narrated by novelist Stephen King. It feels like a country album mutated into something darker, even vicious.

Later in the article, this description is used:

"Black Ribbons" is nothing if not audacious. It's a sprawling, 20-track concept album bristling with end-times paranoia and a labyrinth of unexpected left turns. "Triskaidekaphobia" sounds like a futuristic Lynyrd Skynyrd probing deep space. "God Bless Alabama" finds the intersection of Southern rock and Brit pop. "All of This Could Have Been Yours" is a breakup ballad aimed straight at Nashville via David Bowie.

And Stephen King's role? The horror writer drops in to narrate every few tracks, playing the role of a late-night DJ named Will o' the Wisp, delivering sobering monologues on the eve of the apocalypse.

It has been my experience that music journalists whose particular area of expertise is not in heavy metal tend to misuse the term more often than not, so I'm taking the use of the term lightly, but nonetheless these are still very intriguing descriptions. And Stephen King "narrates" on it?!?!?!? Talk about something out of left field...

I purchased the album this morning and while I haven't had a chance to sit with it in its entirety yet, the few tracks and samples I've heard made it obvious that this is a straight up alternative rock album and Shooter's fondness for Nine Inch Nails that is mentioned in the article is definitely apparent (but not necessarily in the way you would think).

I can't find any recent videos related to this release, so just check out his Myspace to hear the first single "Wake Up!".

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