North American Long Weekend
On this low key, sometimes beautifully underplayed album, Tom Freund has written a really good song. Unfortunately, he plays it 14 times. Okay, 13. One song is a cover of the Beatles “Cry Baby Cry,” but it sounds like all the other songs, so it doesn’t make much difference. The record ambles along in a nice, relaxed groove, with touches of steel guitar, strings and sax. Some cuts feature stand-up bass, in a very cool, Mingusy way, which lends a sort of Tom Waits sunup mood. Parts of the album have a strong Harvest period Neil Young feel, and others make you think of Son Volt, the quieter, brooding Son Volt, not the rocking “Drown” version. In fact, the one song on here that features electric guitar is jarring, like Freund didn’t really know what to do with the power cord.
Lyrically, we determine that a relationship has gone bad sometime in his past. If all these songs are about different people, then he’s unlucky. If they’re all about the same person, then he needs therapy.
This would be a good record for late nights, or early Sunday morning, when you want to set a certain mood. Let’s hope Tom Freund’s next mood is a little more varied than the one he shows here.