Jimmy Barnes: My Criminal Record (Bloodlines)

 |   |  1 min read

Jimmy Barnes: My Criminal Record (Bloodlines)

The great Australian rock legend JImmy Barnes has undergone a kind of soul-baring resurrection in recent years with his autobiographies Working Class Boy and Working Class Man, his garrulous interviews and a candour which endears him to an audience which can identify with his fuel-injected years in Cold Chisel and his songs about the harder edges of life which he sings about so persuasively.

This album plays directly to that audience in songs which are personal (many penned with the great Chisel writer Don Walker), includes two better-then-you-might-think covers (Lennon's Working Class Hero which seemed an obvious choice and gets a raw but respectful treatment, Springsteen's Tougher Than The Rest) and songs about life from the perspective of those outsiders he understands and can channel.

The 13-song result is one of Barnes' strongest and most convincing in many years and Shutting Down Our Town (which he considers the emotional pivot, written by Australian country artist Troy Cassar-Daley) is among his finest interpretations.

These are powerfully delivered and sometimes darkly downbeat rock ballads (Stolen Car which comes in two parts, My Demon, the piano-based Belvedere and Cigarettes) and ragers (the furious I'm in a Bad Mood manages to be both).

I Won't Let You Down and If Time Is On My Side are as fine straight-ahead, sentimental, guitar-jangle pop ballads as any.

If some of Barnes' recent releases – the soul albums were sometimes a test – left you cold you can confidently come back for this fist-pump and moon-howling collection which plays really well when turned up to 11.

You can hear the album here

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Sean Rowe: Magic (Anti)

Sean Rowe: Magic (Anti)

Because of the nature of his burred baritone -- and these profound and emotionally deep songs -- it would be wrong to say this debut by New York singer-songwriter Rowe is "exciting". That... > Read more

Levon Helm: Dirt Farmer (Vanguard) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Levon Helm: Dirt Farmer (Vanguard) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

If anyone has won the right to sings songs of life on hard scrabble farms it is Levon Helm, the former drummer/singer/mandolin player in the Band who grew up on a cotton farm near a town called... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Mekong Delta, Vietnam: History and its victim

Mekong Delta, Vietnam: History and its victim

Hai was using English again. He'd learned it many years before but it had been beaten out of him. Literally. It was a humid afternoon on a ferryboat on the Mekong when I noticed him through the... > Read more

Odetta: A legend ignored

Odetta: A legend ignored

To be honest, I had largely forgotten about Odetta until she died in 2008 at the age of 77. I imagined her as much older actually as she seemed to have been around since Biblical times, or at least... > Read more