Childish Things [Explicit Lyrics]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
Childish Things follows James McMurtry's well-received live album by a little over a year and maintains the high standards set by that release while occasionally upping the stakes. The raw yet full roots rock-sound remains dominated by McMurtry's tough, no-frills guitar chords and longtime backing musicians, drummer Daren Hess and bassist Ronnie Johnson. The three-piece instrumentation is augmented by subtle yet effective use of fiddle, organ, mandolin, and even horns on the opening track. Nonetheless, the spotlight remains on McMurtry's lyrics and gruff, Southern-fried vocals. He returns to the "middle-American family gathering" story well again on "Memorial Day" and the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
Childish Things follows James McMurtry's well-received live album by a little over a year and maintains the high standards set by that release while occasionally upping the stakes. The raw yet full roots rock-sound remains dominated by McMurtry's tough, no-frills guitar chords and longtime backing musicians, drummer Daren Hess and bassist Ronnie Johnson. The three-piece instrumentation is augmented by subtle yet effective use of fiddle, organ, mandolin, and even horns on the opening track. Nonetheless, the spotlight remains on McMurtry's lyrics and gruff, Southern-fried vocals. He returns to the "middle-American family gathering" story well again on "Memorial Day" and the closing "Holiday," both of which revisit a dysfunctional reunion. McMurtry's bone-dry voice and evocative lyrics haven't lost a sliver of their sharpness, which keeps the songs mesmerizing, if not exactly cutting edge. He also adds a few covers this time; Peter Case's terrific "Old Part of Town" (originally recorded for a Case tribute album) and the country standard "Ole Slew Foot," (shortened to just "Slew Foot" and featuring a stirring guest vocal from Joe Ely) are most welcome, as both are given arrangements that slot into McMurtry's established sound. Even if some of the predominantly mid-tempo melodies don't jump out, the lyrics generally do. "I measure out my life in coffee grounds" and "the color snapshots I sent you, all came out in black and white," both from "Charlemagne's Home Town," are just two examples of McMurtry's ability to throw literary curve balls. He gets political -- and angry -- on the album's longest and best track, "We Can't Make It Here," which builds in Crazy Horse-styled intensity as the singer spills out lyrics that describe the less fortunate who have lost sight of the American dream, with stops at the Iraq war and the outsourcing of Wal Mart merchandise. McMurtry's low-boil vocals and lazy yet gritty spoken-sung delivery perfectly encapsulate but never overplay his bitterness towards those situations, as he remains the ultimate observer on another classy entry into his catalog.
Entertainment Weekly - Chris Willman
If you think we can't make rock & roll that's angry, funny, and awake in America anymore, guess again. (A-)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/6/2005
  • Label: Compadre Records
  • UPC: 616892658429
  • Catalog Number: 926584

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 See the Elephant (4:23)
  2. 2 Childish Things (4:34)
  3. 3 We Can't Make It Here (7:05)
  4. 4 Slew Foot (4:34)
  5. 5 Bad Enough (4:18)
  6. 6 Restless (3:53)
  7. 7 Memorial Day (4:16)
  8. 8 Six Year Drought (5:12)
  9. 9 The Old Part of Town (5:17)
  10. 10 Charlemagne's Home Town (5:52)
  11. 11 Pocatello (3:02)
  12. 12 Holiday (6:36)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
James McMurtry Primary Artist, Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Joe Ely Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Bukka Allen Organ, Piano, Accordion
Jon Blondell Trombone
David Grissom Guitar
Daren Hess Percussion, Drums, Tambourine
Chris Maresh Bass
Randy Garibay Jr. Background Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Ronnie Johnson Bass, Bass Guitar, Background Vocals, Chant, Vocal Harmony
Warren Hood Fiddle
Tim Holt Guitar
Curtis McMurtry Baritone Saxophone, Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Peter Case Composer
James McMurtry Composer, Producer, Audio Production
Stuart Sullivan Engineer
Jim Wilson Mastering
Cary Baker Publicity
Howard Hausey Composer
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    McMurtry is National Treasure!

    Childish Things is absolutely phenomenal! I just love the title track, and "We Can't Make it Here" is such a political gem! James McMurtry will definately go down in the history books as our generation's Woody Guthrie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Through the Wasteland into the Heart of Darkness

    With more passion, more subtlety, and even greater razor-sharp irony, James McMurtry continues, with unerring accuracy, to chronicle the American Continental Drift through the wasteland into the heart of darkness. Highly recommend for the serious listener who reads the enclosed lyrics, thinks a tad, and measures the greatness of art by its gravitational relationship to the world we're trying to live our lives in.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews