CD Bittersweet Harmony (CD 1047026),
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Bittersweet Harmony

  • 1. Anything For You
    2. Kings
    3. Fall Apart
    4. Horseshoe Bay
    5. Elizabeth Josephine
    6. Jane's Gone
    7. Sweet Heartache
    8. California
    9. See You Again
    10. Wherever You Go
    11. Back Out on the Road
    12. All of Our Dreaming
    13. Just Love Again
    14. Everybody's Girl
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 6407

  • Credits
    ProducerIan Blurton; Hawksley Workman

    Skydiggers: Andy Maize (vocals, guitar, trumpet); Josh Finlayson (vocals, guitar, piano); Paul MacLeod (vocals, guitar); Ron Macey (bass); Joel Anderson (drums).
    Additional personnel: Hawksley Workman (vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass, drums); Jaroslaw Nick Chervinec (accordion), Ian Blurton (glockenspiel, background vocals).
    Recorded in Canada.
    The turn of the millennium was a strange time for the Skydiggers; the band still existed and was busy releasing albums, but those albums were reissues of older material -- live collections, expanded versions of earlier releases, and "lost" material. The release of Bittersweet Harmony marks the first release of new material in six years, since Desmond's Hip City. This album features much the same lineup as on that previous record, but it features a slightly less, well, modern set of songs this time out; where parts of the previous release made more use of technology, this one really strips back to the basics: country- and folk-tinted material with a loud rock sheen in the right places. In other words, Bittersweet Harmony gets the Skydiggers back to exactly what was so good about them in the first place, especially in terms of the songwriting, and consequently this is quite possibly the strongest set of songs the band has released since the first album. Right off the bat, this sounds like classic Skydiggers, with Andy Maize's voice soaring up into his trademark near-falsetto on "Anything for You"; he uses this well elsewhere throughout the album, most notably on the heartbreaking "Jane's Gone." In fact, it's hard to point to a weakness here, apart from the fact that it sounds pretty much like old Skydiggers; you could construe that as laziness if you were intent on doing so, but it's really more a case of the band moving back toward its strengths. The strangest thing about all of this is that the band has managed to do this with the help of two of the most unlikely producers: Ian Blurton is probably better known for high-volume rock rifforama, and Hawksley Workman tends generally toward the more dramatic and overwrought. Nevertheless, both manage to wring top-drawer performances out of the band, making this not only a fine comeback for the Skydiggers, but one of the strongest releases in the band's catalog. ~ Sean Carruthers

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