Til The Wheels Fall Off
Amy Rigby has moved to more rustic territory, releasing what is surely her finest album to date. Til The Wheels Fall Off once again proves to the world what a great songwriter Rigby is, and the album broadens her musical scope as much as it consolidates what she’s been doing up until this point.
Her cracked, slightly trembling voice adds even more poignancy and profundity to tales about trying to find some truth in a fucked-up world — songs about coping with the tragedies of everyday living. Musically, she’s as individual and idiosyncratic as ever. She’s steeped in rootsy Americana, for sure, but takes in everything from the Beatles and Motown to alt-country, psych pop and new wave.
“Why Do I” is an absolutely stunning opening track, somewhat reminiscent of what Wilco was doing a couple of years ago. “Shopping Around” sounds like Elvis Costello in country mode, “The Deal” is a splendid surf-y Beach Boys moment, while the irresistible “O’Hare” echoes Springsteen’s 1970’s songwriting (if not his arrangements). Although their approaches are very different from each other, Rigby isn’t all that unlike pin-up folkster Bright Eyes (note the melodic similarities on songs like “Why Do I” and “Even The Weak Survive.”
A compassionate and brave artist, Rigby is one of Americana’s finest young songwriters, in the process of carving out a style of her own. Til The Wheels Fall Off is her finest achievement yet and, frankly, the first essential folk-pop album of 2003.
Signature Sounds Records: http://www.signaturesounds.com/