Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bad News, America

Martin Sexton made a run-of-the-mill album. This is disappointing for a couple of reasons. I'll get to these in a minute. First, here's the deal.

Seeds, Martin Sexton's first studio effort in a few years (not including Christmas tune album Camp Holiday), came out a week ago. Fourteen tracks, a fat Martin Sexton making a groovy face on the album cover, and a hilarious picture of a Madonna statue holding a 'For Sale' sign in the liner notes. That's what you'll get for your 15 odd bucks at Best Buy.

Let's get to the meat of it. Every musical artist has their 'sound.' There's no need to explain this - nor would it be easy to put into words. Think about it this way: an artist's 'sound' is how you would describe their music, and is generally the style that their most popular songs are cast in. Cool. The problem is that every artist can fall back on their 'sound' and put out what I like to call the Run-Of-The-Mill Album. This is every Goo Goo Dolls, Bob Seger and Jackson Browne album. This sort of album does not delve into the songwriting themes that a songwriter has yet to examine, nor does it explore further musical possibilities.

No use in dwelling on the theory. The point is that Martin Sexton kicked back on his phenomenal vocal range and rambling, bluesey guitar feel to spit out fourteen tracks that highlight everything we already know about him. The guy's got pipes, and he puts together a good song - one that you want to roll down the window, turn on the A/C and scream down the highways outside of Santa Fe while jamming to. WE ALREADY HAVE THESE SONGS - we didn't neeeed any more.

There are two reasons that this is disappointing for, mainly. First, Martin Sexton is a force of nature to see live. If you haven't seen him, you are missing out on an experience that has no equivalent. I've seen U2 (twice), Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Bob Schneider, The Roots and however many more great "live" shows, and nothing can even come close to being in the presence of this man singing. So, a new album was a great opportunity to add to the live repertoire, and we didn't get any standouts here. I'll still pay $100 to see him any day of the week (that was the tag on the last show I saw him at) but the value didn't increase much with Seeds.

Secondly, his album The American is one of the 5 best studio albums of all time. His voice is a crisp and clear and perfect as ever, and the songs explore, poignantly, the only theme that an American musician should explore: the west and the American dream. And the polar forces of love, home and security competing with that deep desire to roam everywhere under the big sky.

That being said: I'd like to propose a challenge to Little Dynamite and Little Gun to post their 5 favorite albums of all time. Favorite. I'll add my other four in a later post.

In closing, I'm going to play doctor and diagnose Martin. Frankly, I think he's too happy. He's successful and married to the woman he loves. He looks fat and content on the cover, and the first track's title, Happy, tips us off beyond doubt. He's just not hungry; he can't write a song like Love Keep Us Together anymore. The days of "my car battery's dead again, so I've got my head dead set against it" may be over. Here's hoping he bounces back sometime.

A Few Unrelated Thoughts:
- Can we start a fund to help Little Gun afford getting internet at his house? Or do they just not have internet in the Rio Grande valley?

- When can we get Ryan Adams to cover this little gem? He releases everything he records, so it can't be that hard...
(this song is totally awesome - I am 100% sure I may be the only person in the world who thinks this and I don't care)

- Corona Light sucks, so does Corona, but when you gotta post, you gotta post.

Jack the Rabbit, over and out.


Little Dynamite said...

great post, disappointed to hear about martin's latest work...i'm all for starting a little gun fund, although i feel like the wild boar that roams his ranch will probably knock out any wires/cables that are necessary for this...

i'll get to work on the challenge...that's a tough one...

Little Gun said...

There's more than one wild boar

Jack the Rabbit said...

is it too late to change the name of our blog entirely to "there's more than one wild boar on the ranch" ?