Music Reviews

Mark Eitzel

Caught in a Trap and I Can’t Back Out ‘Cause I Love You Too Much, Baby


After subsequent listens, the one thing that stands out on this album is the realization that Mark Eitzel’s songs are strengthened or weakened by the musicians that accompany him. Although a strong lyricist and songwriter, the songs that shine on this album are the ones accompanied by James McNew, Steve Shelley, and Kid Congo Powers. Unfortunately, these are in the minority, with the remainder being sung by Eitzel with sole acoustic accompaniment. The paucity of musical ideas undercuts Eitzel’s talents as a songwriter and his ability to nuance and place perspective on human frailty. When he does it well as on “Rise” from the Everclear album (with his former band American Music Club) or on his first solo album with tracks such as “Cleopatra Jones” he provides a moving portrait of loss and those who have been left behind. However, when he does it weakly, as on some songs on this disc, the songs sound rushed and at a demo quality. They fail to provide any insight or hope and appeal to the confirmed depressed. All things considered, while this would not be the disc to begin with on Mark Eitzel or American Music Club, it would appeal to those already familiar with his work. Matador Records, 625 Broadway, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10012-2319

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