Music Reviews

Fred Eaglesmith

Lipstick Lies and Gasoline

Razor & Tie

Blunt, Brutal, and Powerful, Eaglesmith’s ninth album, and second in the States, is not wussy folk. His songs traipse through some very dank and sad places that most would rather avoid. His “Drinking too Much” addresses the ugly side of alcohol with “You take my hand more than you used to, but I’m not sure it’s love, and you seem to stumble more often these days, darling I keep holding you up…. `” You’ve seen these people, and you may have laughed at them. A couple of listens to this, and you’ll quit laughing. In the madder’n hell, and not gonna take it anymore, “Time to Get a Gun,” Eaglesmith paints a picture of a righteously disturbed man who feels a very real risk of losing it all to everyone, from car thieves all the way up to the government, who are condemning his property to build a four-lane highway. “Pontiac” begins with his description, “… a ‘63 Stratochief with a three-on-the-tree… “ but makes an eerie turn to a description of a getaway car he’s hearing on the radio, while he’s watching the stain on his girlfriends shoulder get darker.

The stripped-down production of this testosterone-enhanced folk record fits the themes like a glove. The wonderfully primitive percussion at times sounds like it could’ve been achieved by beating on various parts of the vintage 1958 Wayne bus that he tours in. If Eaglesmith continues to create music as powerful and compelling as this release, and 1996’s Drive-In Movie, he may very well end up being the most important artist to come out of Canada since Neil Young. See him in a dive while you still can. Razor & Tie Music, P.O. Box 585, Cooper Station, New York, NY 10276; http://www.razorandtie.com


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