Open

Open

4.0 1
by Cowboy Junkies
     
 

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Since 1986, Canada's Cowboy Junkies have worked a narrow patch of dark and fertile ground, exploring the nuanced possibilities in the tension between Margo Timmins's statuesque, restrained vocals and her brother Michael's emotional songwriting and strummy guitar work. The band's development has come in small increments, with each album emphasizing a subtle distinction

Overview

Since 1986, Canada's Cowboy Junkies have worked a narrow patch of dark and fertile ground, exploring the nuanced possibilities in the tension between Margo Timmins's statuesque, restrained vocals and her brother Michael's emotional songwriting and strummy guitar work. The band's development has come in small increments, with each album emphasizing a subtle distinction, whether it be the one-mike simplicity of The Trinity Sessions or the country tones of Black-Eyed Man. Open, the 11th Junkies album, is riddled with guitar feedback and ominous forebodings, akin at times to the druggy moodiness of Mazzy Star or the quiet drone side of the Velvet Underground. The softly savage opener, "I Did It All for You," recounts a series of murders in disturbing detail: "She took his dentures from his mouth and placed them in her own/Took a shovel from the shed and then dragged him from their home." Margo's beautifully detached voice makes the song all the more eerie: It's hard to tell if she's disturbed by the actions or complicit in them. Open contains moments of release -- the lyrical "Thousand Year Prayer" and its delicate piano lines, the comparatively jubilant "I'm So Open" -- but this is the Cowboy Junkies' darkest album, and one of their best.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Kelly McCartney
Cowboy Junkies have a sound, a vibe. There's no denying it. You can tell it's them within a few notes and each successive record seems to pick up right where the last one left off. Some, like The Trinity Sessions, are dark, moody, and mellow, like being coated in honey and draped in velvet. Others, take Pale Sun, Crescent Moon for example, seem downright energetic in comparison. Open is more in line with the first batch, though it has moments of near-enthusiastic revelry. With Alan Anton's plump (rather than phat) basslines, Peter Timmins' laid-back drumming, and Michael Timmins' dirty guitars to ride on, Margo Timmins contributes her trademark sensual, yet understated vocal performances. The whole gang sounds as good as ever. And, although he may be called a songwriter, Michael Timmins is more a true poet with musical inclinations. Full of wonder and romance, fear and passion, Open is simply the next chapter in his sublime book of heartfelt verse. The compassionate tenderness of "Thousand Year Prayer" contrasts nicely with the harmonica and feedback duel of "Dragging Hooks." And darn if "I'm So Open" doesn't bounce right along on a little groove. They've got it all here. If nothing else, this band is one of the most consistent around. Though album sales may not always reflect it, they continually deliver strong records that refuse to be faulted for anything other than being non-mainstream.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/15/2001
Label:
Zoe Records
UPC:
0601143102028
catalogNumber:
431020

Tracks

  1. I Did It All for you
  2. Dragging Hooks (River Song Trilogy: Part III)
  3. Bread and Wine
  4. Upon Still Waters
  5. Dark Hole Again
  6. Thousand Year Prayer
  7. I'm So Open
  8. Small Swift Birds
  9. Beneath the Gate
  10. Close My Eyes

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Open 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago