Tuesday, July 21, 2009
CD of the Day, 7/21/09: Brian Jay Cline-Nashville Tracks
If you've only joined the power pop community in, say, the last four or five years, you may not have heard of Brian Jay Cline. Personally, I discovered him in early 2005 when his last record, One More for the Road, came out. After doing so, I had to seek out his back catalog. So it's quite possible you right now could be me circa 2005 if Nashville Tracks is your first exposure to this great roots-poppin' artist, while the rest of us are just grateful he's seen fit to release his first new disc in nearly five years.
If artists like Marshall Crenshaw, Walter Clevenger, Bill Lloyd and The Melroys are your bag, you'll wonder how you got by without Cline for all these years. The title of his latest is as unpretentious as his sound - these are tracks he laid down in Nashville, and if you had to guess without knowing the title, Nashville is where you'd probably think they were recorded. All the tracks here are good, but some are more equal than others. "Rave Up" finds him as a twangy Buddy Holly; "Talk of the Town" is right in that Lloyd/Crenshaw sweet spot; and "Lying at the Speed of Sound" has enough sass to make kindred spirit Terry Anderson proud. Elsewhere, "Last Chance" has a bit of a bluesy feel and one could easily picture someone like Robert Cray covering it, and "Road to Ruin" tackles our recessionary times.
The only quibble I have about the disc is that I can't share a Lala (or any other digital music provider) embed below; Cline is old school to the extent that his stuff isn't on iTunes or the other digital download places. You'll just have to check out the samples at Not Lame or his MySpace if you're unfamiliar with him.
(Meanwhile, things have really gotten to the point where it seems like every second or third record I'm writing about lately comes from Nashville or a Nashville artist; at the rate things are going, I might have to bifurcate my year-end list into Nashville and Non-Nashville in fairness to the rest of the world.)
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