Graham Parker and the Rumour: Three Chords Good (Proper)

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Graham Parker and the Rumour: Old Soul
Graham Parker and the Rumour: Three Chords Good (Proper)

Despite an excellent career fueled by British pub rock, post-punk energy and Parker's cutting lyrics coupled to memorable and often soulful songs, GP&R never really got the accolades (beyond critical praise, especially for their live shows) they deserved in the late 70s/early 80s.

Then Parker moved to America and continued to release interesting if low-profile albums.

This reunion astutely doesn't attempt to compete with the fury of old but rather connects to Parker's clear-eyed and sometimes quietly seething cynicism when he married it to swinging folk-rock rhythms (the title track, the Dylanesque A Lie Gets Halfway 'Round the World and Arlington's Busy) or became edgy (Sirens in the Night).

His lyrics remain diamond hard (check the acutely observed Last Bookstore in Town), there's some optimism (She Rocks Me), customary ballads (Old Soul, That Moon Was Low), some slippery jazz-influenced rock (Live in the Shadows) and the Rumour slip in seamlessly because this is what they were born for.

This won't mean anything to those who never knew GP&R when they were head-to-head with the young Elvis Costello and Ian Dury, but old fans will delight in how contemporary, and sometimes urgent, this sounds despite its familiarity.

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