Holy Wrecords (label)
17 April 2020 (released)
04 May 2020
There is a great deal of pleasure to be found in this new release from Eileen Rose, along with some head scratching and confusion.
Ms Rose has been around for a while, breaking with her 2000 album ‘Shine Like It Does’ which was recorded with the Alabama 3, and for this album she took herself off to Muscle Shoals Sound Studio to record this with the legendary Holy Wreck band (Nashville veterans Rich Gilbert on guitar, Chris McLchlan on bass and Steve Latanation on drums).
She fell in love with the sound of the studio to the extent that she recorded an entire 2nd album of songs she has laid down over the last 10 or so years but recorded anew.
So to the meat of the 1st paragraph. Musically this is excellent. The band is cooking and her performances are similarly fine. There are two covers on the main album, both pretty esoteric and the seven songs that she has written for the album are all individually fine. However, every track seems to be in a different genre and I found it really difficult to really pin down what she was saying – other than “I love Muscle Shoals”.
I absolutely adore ‘Am I Really So Bad’, a slow and emotional ballad that really brings out the listeners emotions. However, it reminds me too much of Beth Hart and Eileen Rose is a little lost in there. It is followed immediately by some straight out truck stop rocking with ‘On Shady Hill’ which is again very good but it is difficult to see the relationship between the two songs.
The real head scratcher is also the best number on the album – a cover of King Crimson’s ‘Matte Kudasai’ which bears a great resemblance to Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Albatross’, brilliantly played and sung but completely different from anything else here. The closer on the main album is a pure folk rendition of Brendan Behan’s ‘The Old Triangle – chilling but not really what the rest of the album says.
So, a bit of a conundrum. Dipping in and out finds great tracks (all of them) but listening as an album really doesn’t work. Still, I’ll be listening to some of these tracks for a long while to come.