Dances for the Lonely
added: 12 Jun 2012
// release date: 21 May 2012 // label: Retroworld
reviewer: Andy Snipper
I discovered American Aquarium through their last album, 'Small Town Hymns' but I didn't realise its heritage at the time. They actually have four albums out and this is number three.
They hail from Raleigh, North Carolina, and the best description of their music is Americana with a very Southern twist. The album was produced by Chris Stamey of the dB's and you can hear that band as well as his time with Alex Chilton in the crisp and powerful sound.
But the story here is also a band who have consummate skills and the ability to write great and memorable melodies - from the start of 'Katherine Belle' to the last notes of 'Tennessee' this is a superb collection of songs.
The aforementioned 'Katherine Belle' starts with a huge Hammond swell and blasts into a belting and uproarious love song of sorts.
BJ Barham wrote all the songs and his hard-edged vocal suits them perfectly but he is anything but a one man band with superb support from the rest of the band.
On the lovely and eerie 'City Lights' you get a stunning story of a small town girl trapped under city lights and then you get the pounding and not-so-subtle 'Louisiana Beauty Queen' or 'Mary, Mary' or 'Downtown Girls' - this is the heartland of all American kids.
If you are a fan of Steve Earle or John Cougar or the wonderful John Stewart then this is absolutely for you.
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