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coverpic flag US - California - Full Moon 131 - 06/01/07

Grant-Lee Phillips
Zoe Records / Cooking Vinyl

Years has passed since Grant Lee Buffalo split and Phillips went out on his own. With this record he's released more albums on his own than with his former band (not counting the collection Storm Hymnal). He's been doing good - probably feeling better than in the band too, if you look at the paths he's taken since the success of Buffalo. Given himself more room to try out more - and less - than would probably been the case before. But does it do his music any better? Of course, it's a yes and no answer to that. One of the things I liked about Buffalo was Paul Kimble's production and the sound of it coming from a band.

Phillips has somewhat turned a bit softer lately, meaning nothing bad about claiming that. But when he pushes it a bit, like on this one's "Chain Lightning", it lacks the punch and purity of the Buffalo-days. Then again, songs such as "Dream In Color" and "Raise The Spirit" are unmistakably Phillips compositions. Both in good and bad - it's like I've heard the songs before, but songs that I like.

Then again, a song such as "Same Blue Devils" stands out as another memorable song worth including on your "this month's best". He's still occupying space between folk-rock and glam-rock ("Johnny Guitar" making me reach for Mott The Hoople), but still worth paying attention to - and we might be rewarded for that. Just not so much this time.

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