When I first listened to this record, it made me kinda nervous. It still does, but not nearly as much after a really close listen. I grew up in a Baptist community where you could comfortably listen to songs about sex, murder, drinking, drugs, rock and roll, or Jesus. You just didn’t mix them ALL together. Terry Allen does. He’s not afraid of singing about “our Idol …the Dollar, Jesus Cash” or Armageddon. Terry Allen is extremely talented, yet sort of a scary guy. Objects in his mirror seem closer than they appear. His music covers a very broad variety of styles; sometimes it’s a timeless sounding country-twang, the next song might have a Middle-Eastern flavor, then another reminded me of the brilliance of Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk,” and still another, “Red Leg Boy,” could’ve come straight outta Louisiana. Allen is all over the place and hard to peg. Maybe that’s why I like him. There’s still that guilt thing, though. I know what I’ll do… I’ll just scratch those two songs off of the CD. No, better not — if I did that, my CD player would probably pick up just enough to make a REAL demonic message. If the end of the world does come in 2000, this might make a good soundtrack. All kidding aside, I’d have to put this among the top four or five recordings I’ve heard in the last year or two. In my opinion, this guy is truly one of the most diverse and creative songwriters and performers going today. Sorta like Beck without the electronics.
Sugar Hill Records, P.O. Box 55300, Durham, NC 27717-5300; http://www.sugarhillrecords.com/