CD Songs for a Blue Guitar (CD 170606),
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Songs for a Blue Guitar
Red House Painters
1. Have You Forgotten
2. Song for a Blue Guitar
3. Make Like Paper
4. Priest Alley Song
6. I Feel the Rain Fall
7. Long Distance Runaround
8. All Mixed Up
9. Revelation Big Sur
10. Silly Love Songs
11. Another Song for a Blue Guitar
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 531061
Red House Painters include: Mark Kozelek (vocals).
Engineers: Mark Needham, Billy Anderson.
Recorded at Record Two, Mendocino Comptche, California; Hyde Street Studios and Polk Street Recording, San Francisco, California.
Recording information: Hyde Street Studios, San Francisco, CA; Polk Street Recording, San Francisco, CA; Polka Street Recording, San Fra; Record Two Mendocino, Compatche; Record Two, Mendocino Comptche, CA.
Photographer: Michele Turriani.
Throughout the '90s, the Red House Painters established themselves as the bedroom poet princes, a quieter, more retiring take on American Music Club's self-loathing avant-folk-rock. While BLUE GUITAR still bears strong traces of the gentle, acoustic Tim Buckley/Nick Drake style that was the band's early trademark, it's also their most aggressive album. The mood is relentlessly downbeat as usual, and soft acoustic ballads like "Have You Forgotten" are standard Painters fare, but the boys have seemingly been listening to a lot of Crazy Horse-era Neil Young as well. "Make Like Paper" is full of crunchy, distorted guitar, with that desert hallucination feel that's so prevalent in Young's '70s work.
The band continues its tradition of unusual cover tunes, with completely unironic and shockingly effective deconstructions of the Cars's "All Mixed Up," Wings's "Silly Love Songs," and Yes's "Long Distance Runaround." There's even an upbeat country-ish tune ("I Feel The Rain Fall"). All this stylistic diversity makes BLUE GUITAR the group's most varied and endearing album.
Rolling Stone (8/22/96) - 3-1/2 Stars - Good/Excellent - "...Mark Kozelek embellishes his typical graveyard folk with a Buddy Holly-ish rocker...a female-harmony vocal...and storms of Neil Young-style guitar distortion. The effect is freshening, at once looser, more varied and more textured than the band has often sounded in the past..."
Entertainment Weekly (8/9/96, pp.58-59) - "...Post-folkie acoustic guitar mixes with Crazy Horse-like electric gnarl, and dreamy pedal steel enhances the languor. Kozelek makes music of hope and gloom, sad-eyed but vivid: His song-poetry seems to be of this world and also unplugged from it."
- Rating: A-
Q (9/96, p.120) - 3 Stars - Good - "...the album metamorphoses into a thoughtful, but far more dynamic group affair. Sure, there's the heartbreak, the flat world theories, but there's also strident Neil Youngian guitar....a highly entertaining, well off the wall album."
Alternative Press (10/96, pp.98-100) - "...the what-the-hell approach to recording has served Red House Painters well..."
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