CD Tinderbox [Fred Eaglesmith] (CD 4506177),
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Tinderbox [Fred Eaglesmith]

  • Credits

    TINDERBOX was touted as Eaglesmith's gospel album, but like everything he creates, it's gospel on his own terms. Eaglesmith and his band play a dark, subdued kind of music, mixed to keep Eaglesmith's minimal vocals in the center of the sonic field. The album's murky, homemade feel is perfectly suited to the material, songs that veer between light and dark, love and hate, salvation and damnation. "Get on Your Knees" is the album's centerpiece, a swampy rocker that dances with preachers, devils, and sinners to a disjointed drum beat and an eerie organ. The backing chorus sounds half mad, or drunk, or possessed as the tune moves to a climax of scratchy processed vocals, undulating organ, and a lamenting choir. It contrasts neatly with the almost a cappella (there is a bit of ragged harmonica as well) "Fancy God." The massed voices eschew harmony as they sing "That god you got is a fancy god, he's not the one I know, he don't live in parking lots outside of monster homes..." Most albums with this kind of an unremittingly dark vision wear out their welcome long before they reach the last song, but Eaglesmith's powerful spell is oddly uplifting and has you pushing the replay button every time.

  • Critic Reviews
    Dirty Linen (p.42) - "Most of the songs have a backwoods, preaching feel to the them, with selections such as 'Get on Your Knees,' 'Tinderbox' and 'Fancy God' given a whisky-soaked revival vibe."
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