17 November 2012 (released)
17 November 2012
Other than to say that he sits in the Americana camp (whatever that is), it is almost impossible to categorize Steve Poltz.
He rocks, he croons and he plays with taste and consideration but he can also tell the most outrageous lies and when he hits the straight Country trail he is sweeter than honeyed peaches.
But the album holds together brilliantly. Whoever he is being, his music is played to perfection and there is always something in the lyrics to grab your attention.
Titled for a comment from his Australian tour manager who said “Oi reckin you first toured here in noineen noiny noin” and complete with a bonus disc ‘Noineen noiny noin and a haff’ you kind of get his humour straight off and you either dig it or this album is not for you.
It opens with a bit of Indian country (!) in ‘Spirit Hands’ while ‘Slovenia Breeze’ is one of the sweetest songs I’ve heard all year, with pedal steel and gently played guitars along with harmonies that come straight from the Flying Burrito Brothers; the slow organ behind falsetto vocals on ‘Check Your Head’ reminding me of the Isley Brothers crossed with Seals And Crofts – he doesn’t stay in one genre of style for five minutes but it is all played brilliantly.
‘Ordinary Dude’ has a military drumbeat and fiddle opening and sounds like a nineteenth century folk song but then morphs into a country/rock piece and ‘Dreams 23’ is a simply gorgeous piece of country, wistful and dreamy and then he closes with ‘Some Things About Me You Should Know’ which opens with the best line of the year – “I like the word belligerent – it rhymes with refrigerant” – and includes such gems as “I like to eat food ... these are the things about me you fucking should know” – sweet!
Bottom line; this is one album that is going straight on every player I use. It ain’t perfect but his songs are just so damn good you can forget the scratchy voice and questionable themes.