Why is it, after listening to the Cowboy Junkies, that I just get KD Lang in my head? There's certainly some similarities between Margo Timmins' voice and KD's, and I guess the soft alt-coutnry stylings of the Junkies are pretty close to Ms Lang's catalogue. Or is it because they're all Canadians? No, that can't be right, otherwise we'd own some albums from a certain pointy-headed screecher whose name I can't even be forced to place on this blog.
Generally the Cowboy Junkies are more bitter than sweet, unlike KD. For example, the song that I bought this album for - 'Cause Cheap is How I Feel - is a great Christmas song with no happy or jolly about it. It mentions looking for a present - For something small and frail and plastic, baby/ 'Cause cheap is how I feel
There's also a cover of Neil Young's Powderfinger - but to my shame I have to say I'm really unfamiliar with the original. Altogether I think this is another album to pull out when the cranky pants are making me frown, and it helps to really listen to the lyrics, as they're often interesting and never ordinary.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
The Cowboy Junkies are a band who've essentially passed me by. I haven't even heard the lauded album, The Trinity Session, which is, apparently, a marvel of recording and engineering. But I wouldn't know.
So the anticipation of listening to The Caution Horses was fairly high for me as I thought it was going to be a bit of treat. I'd been led to believe the Junkies were somewhat like Mazzy Starr, a band I used to have a lot of time for and which provided a nice change for the usual loud rock guitar music I liked. But the reality is quite different.
This band doesn't sound at all like Mazzy Starr. In fact, it sounds like a ballady country band. Oh sure, they do it all well, and Margo's voice is lovely and shares a similarity to Beth Gibbons (from Portishead), the songs are just a little bit too country for my liking.
VERDICT: TURN IT DOWN
For further information go to: http://latentrecordings.com/cowboyjunkies/