Miles from Our Home

Miles from Our Home

by Cowboy Junkies
4.2 4

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Miles from Our Home

Working with producer John Leckie on Miles from Our Home has enlivened the Cowboy Junkies' trademark lackadaisical style somewhat. Replacing the group's calm, minimalist sound with a polished production, Leckie manages to make the record sound unlike anything else in the band's catalog. That's not to say that there's no trace of the old style -- he has simply updated their sound, bringing it in line with adult alternative pop that they played a part in establishing in the late '80s. If the results aren't as magical as The Trinity Sessions, they're far from disappointing. Margo Timmins' voice remains as enchanting as ever and her brother Michael Timmins' songs are sturdy. There might not be any masterpieces on Miles from Our Home, but there aren't any misfires, either -- it's simply a solid album from a reliable band.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/30/1998
Label: Geffen Records
UPC: 0720642520123
catalogNumber: 25201

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Miles from Our Home 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Let¿s face facts: The Cowboy Junkies will never be mistaken for a party band. The Barenaked Ladies, they are not, despite hailing from the same hometown of Toronto, Ontario. But Canadian kinship aside, the two groups could not possibly be more polar-opposite. In drug parlance (they do call themselves ¿junkies,¿ after all), the brothers and sister Timmins and bassist Alan Anton¿s backwater, often Orbison-esque laments and odes to loneliness have always been more heroin than hemp. The Ladies bring cocaine to the rave. The Cowboys: Quaaludes to the wake. Their seventh album, Miles From My Home, finds the Cowboy Junkies mining familiar thematic terrain, albeit with some subtle but notably atypical sonic embellishments. Building on 1996¿s Lay It Down, new producer John Leckie (Radiohead, The Verve, Stone Roses) gooses the Junkies¿ traditionally minimalist mix with just the right pinches of harmonica, harmonium, pedal steel, and strings. Margo Timmins¿ instantly distinguishable, whiskey-warm vocals (a huskier cousin to Karen Carpenter¿s aching alto) are lushly layered, as are primary songwriter Michael Timmins¿ graceful guitar arpeggios and judiciously integrated array of electric riffs and fills (reminiscent of R.E.M. in Automatic/Fables dark-folk mode). Musically and lyrically, Miles treads a decidedly tenuous line (that is, when it can be bothered to abandon the lithium-listlessness of dormant porch swings and rickety rocking chairs). A work thoroughly drenched in melancholy introspection, it nonetheless succeeds in never quite crossing over into maudlin morbidity. The 10½ songs essentially serve as a series of haunting psalms on life, loss, and the meaning of it all, while the songs¿ narrators remain placidly passive in the ever-evolving face of fate ¿ watching, waiting, wondering, but never surrendering. Thus, ¿No Birds Today,¿ an obsessive, desolate dirge of loves lost and lives misled, and ¿Blue Guitar,¿ a ghostly folk-blues eulogy to the sadly undersung Texan troubadour Townes Van Zandt, are more than balanced in their ethereal bleakness by the soaring, forward-looking chorus of ¿New Dawn Coming¿ and the undeniable snap, crackle, and pop of the title track. The album ends (officially-speaking) with the utterly uplifting ¿Those Final Feet,¿ a gospel-tinged hymn driven by the unlikely honky-tonk trinity of piano, organ, and washboard-against-a-rusty-tub percussion. ¿Life is loss,¿ it seems to say. ¿But so long as there is life, then all is not lost.¿
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of my all time favorite Cowboy Junkies CDs - great productions with good balance, lyrics that are poetry with the right word chosen - 'darkling', 'lumbering', 'sigh' - to convey the exact shade of feeling, and beautifully crafted phrases, such as 'when conscious thought/meets careless heart' and 'watch as the stars come unhinged'. Miles from Our Home, the title track, reminds me of dusky drivng across the heartland and echoes the lonliness any midwesterner feels when transplanted in a major metropolitan area. Neither ones home town nor their new residence feel truly like home and you find yourself living miles from home in years, not in distance. I love the sparkling hope of New Dawn Coming and the comfort of true love found in Hollow as a Bone and Summer of Discontent. This CD is rich and can be listened to over and over again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago