In the Groove
This album works on many levels: strong lyrics, swaggering rock attitude, a rich sound palette and courageous use of dynamics. If rock radio stations are guilty of just one charge it’s the flattening out of dynamics. It’s refreshing to hear an album that does loud and soft both between and within songs. One minute you’re digesting the Dylanesque lyrics and the enchanting orchestral percussion and the next you’re being knocked over by good old fashioned rock guitar power. The shifts don’t feel the least bit contrived and Marshall’s songwriting and vocal performances always seem to be driving this bus. For comparisons, Janis Joplin, Chrissie Hynde and Jeff Buckley come to mind – all talented and embattled souls. As far as opening tracks go, you’d be hard pressed to find something as enticing as Ladies’ Luck and there are plenty of other nuggets on the album. Tracks like See A Dog or The Ugly Man seem to fly closest to the sun and these soul-plundering numbers are followed by the somewhat comforting country styled grooves of Just Like Deedee’s Wife and Seven Licks Left. Sprinkled amongst the country-folk-rock sound are some unusual instruments such as the musical saw, glockenspiel, phillicord and the pianet, which really help to flesh out the rich and complex emotional landscape these songs traverse.