Terry Allen: Bottom of the World (Allen/Southbound)

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Terry Allen: Wake of the Red Witch
Terry Allen: Bottom of the World (Allen/Southbound)

On the basis of his excellent Lubbock on Everything of '79, you'd probably always give country singer Allen the benefit of the doubt.

But this one of sometimes laboured rhymes, small ideas writ large (actually just medium-sized), the understatement of things which barely deserved even that and the occasional lyrical (and musical) cliche will only be embraced by the most hardcore of fans who have waited about 15 years for this latest release.

The evocative Emergency Human Blood Courier and Wake of the Red Witch are very good though. These darker songs find him at his bleak best, and the band sling in behind to discreetly flesh out the mood.

There is an undeniable lyrical economy here which is admirable -- he whittles and whittles -- but the funereal pace of his delivery in most places allows you plenty of time to anticipate where everything is going, and while some in their rockers or La-Z-boy chairs will happy immerse themselves in these ruminations from a 70-year old (who sounds older), it's hard to imagine many will want to whoop and holler about this.

Ain't that kind of thing though, of course.

More a wry nod as you fill your pipe and gaze at the sun setting over the Joshua Tree desert and think about a senorita in Mexico. 

I note this album has been getting five star reviews at amazon. 

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