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Forever

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
It's been a few years since David Lowery sprinkled his off-kilter blend of intellectual musing and white-trash hooting upon the alt-rock scene, and while Cracker's leader has grown up some in that period, he hasn't lost his flair for creating melodies and narratives that make you go "Hmmmmm." Forever isn't as laden with snotty diatribes as previous Cracker offerings, and the playing on songs like the soaring "Brides of Neptune" is a bit more elegant -- thanks, no doubt, to Sparklehorse mainman Mark Linkous, who co-produced the disc. Still, there are plenty of memorable interludes, most notably "Don't Bring Us Down," an anti-love song that could be construed either as a...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
It's been a few years since David Lowery sprinkled his off-kilter blend of intellectual musing and white-trash hooting upon the alt-rock scene, and while Cracker's leader has grown up some in that period, he hasn't lost his flair for creating melodies and narratives that make you go "Hmmmmm." Forever isn't as laden with snotty diatribes as previous Cracker offerings, and the playing on songs like the soaring "Brides of Neptune" is a bit more elegant -- thanks, no doubt, to Sparklehorse mainman Mark Linkous, who co-produced the disc. Still, there are plenty of memorable interludes, most notably "Don't Bring Us Down," an anti-love song that could be construed either as a personal kiss-off or a denunciation of today's pop charts. The kitchen-sink eclecticism of tracks like the lilting "Miss Santa Cruz County" and the underwater psych-jam "Guarded by Monkeys" is reminiscent of Lowery's early days in Camper Van Beethoven, as is the somewhat disconnected feel of the album's latter reaches. A special limited-edition version of Forever also contains an 11-song bonus disc, with such concert staples as "Teen Angst" and the band's cover of Status Quo's late-'60s classic "Pictures of Matchstick Men."
All Music Guide - Bradley Torreano
Forever is a minor comeback for the men and women in Cracker. They might have reached their commercial peak in the early '90s, but Cracker works hard to re-establish their credibility after two decent but spotty albums. As on their previous full-length, 1998's Gentleman's Blues, they concentrate less on the post-punk barnburners of their first three records and settle into a more grounded approach. Johnny Hickman and David Lowery are still the main focus of the band, and their chemistry has developed into a nice combination of '70s power pop and modern roots rock. This works to their favor on several occasions, as Lowery's deadpan delivery and obscure lyrics can be hard to comprehend when buried under a tense, fast-paced song. There are a significant amount of memorable, high-quality tracks from this album, something that does not always hold true for this duo. The opening "Brides of Neptune" is a gorgeous track that features the best Lowery nonsense lyrics since 1994's Kerosene Hat and music that could have been taken right off of a mid-'80s Church album. "Don't Bring Us Down" is a homegrown folk rocker that feels like Elvis Costello recast as a cynical Southerner; elsewhere Hickman takes the microphone for the sweeping psychedelic rave-up "Superfan." And "Shameless" employs a memorable Hickman guitar part and some beautiful gospel-style background vocals to achieve one of the grooviest songs of their career. Their stab at the country-rap genre, "What You're Missing," is a funny (if overlong) stab at Detroit DJ turned balladeer Uncle Kracker that even lets drummer Frank Funaro and bassist Brandy Wood each rap a verse. One of the most endearing features of Cracker's output is their constant references to their other material. Lowery and Hickman use many of the same characters and phrases as the basis for their songs, giving their catalog a familiar and engaging feel. This album is no different, making references to songs from all over their career, even other songs on this album. This album rewards fans with little touches like that and it is such a minor detail that it won't alienate new listeners. There are definitely some slow moments here, as certain tracks start strong but wear out their welcome as they go along. But this is a noticeable improvement over their material from the second half of the '90s, and marks a return to quality without resorting to rehashing old ideas.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/29/2002
  • Label: Emi Mod Afw
  • UPC: 724381134122
  • Catalog Number: 11341
  • Sales rank: 181,491

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Cracker Primary Artist
John Hickman Guitar, Percussion, Vox Organ
Frank Funaro Percussion, Drums, Vox Organ
Victor Krummenacher Bass
Mark Linkous Guitar, Keyboards
David Lowery Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Vox Organ
Kenny Margolis Accordion, Keyboards, Vox Organ
Alan Weatherhead Guitar
Craig Harmon Keyboards
Nate Brown Drums
Chris Eubank Cello
Brandy Wood Bass, Vox Organ
Margaret White Violin
Miguel Urbiztondo Percussion, Drums
Technical Credits
John Hickman Producer
Lee Baker Contributor
Mark Linkous Producer, Contributor
David Lowery Producer, Engineer
John Morand Producer, Engineer
Brent Lambert Mastering
Schiavone McGee Contributor
Alan Weatherhead Engineer
Margaret White Contributor
Kristen Hott Contributor
Dennis Soloman Engineer
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    cracker expands empire - astonishing, unique music

    lowery, hickman, and their extraordinary crew continue evolving a world of richly textured, musically inventive, and lyrically inspired song-stories. beware: price of entry - your reluctance to return to the world of the noise everybody else is listening to. many songs (and even mini-videos) from this album appeared on the web prior to its release. and it's astonishing. get it now - and every cracker and camper van beethoven (an earlier lowery band) album on which you can lay your hands, tentacles, or magneto finger clips - put the stuff on the player of your choice, and go. it's like walking through a novel where the universe is subtly distorted, full of bleak menace and poignant yearnings, packed with clever wordplay and cheerful misery, or is that miserable cheerfulness? you'll be glad you went there...i was, so i'm heading off to buy 'Forever' now.

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