Pin It
Favorite

CD Review-Whiskeytown 

by Amy Sinisterra
With the long-awaited new release Pneumonia, Whiskeytown has stepped down from their previous held esteem as a true alt-country band. Listening to this album all I could do was bemoan, "Oh where, oh where has my Whiskeytown gone?"


Gone are the gritty guitars, gone are the driving rhythms, gone is their signature rough-edge and sweet lo-fi country simplicity of their previous two albums Stranger's Almanac and Faithless Street. Instead we are left with a pathetic attempt to follow in the over-produced, pop stardom footsteps that enticed such musicians as Elliott Smith off the deep end trying to reach the mass market.


The first few songs are decent melodic little riffs full of the kind of longing we found and loved on Ryan Adams' solo album, Heartbreaker, but lacking that heartfelt, country loveliness. When the overly sappy song with offensively poor lyrics "Don't be Sad" arrives we start feeling cheated. But it gets worse. At precisely mid-album there is an absolute breakdown. "Mirror, Mirror," "Paper Moon" and "What the Devil Wanted" sound like the soundtrack to a cheesy musical -- full of that poppy, over-produced, faux-cinematic, Rufus-Wainwright-confusion that cannot, under any terms, be considered any kind of country and certainly not alt-country. With horns, soft arranged strings and a gaspingly bad Latin song like "Paper Moon," it was hard to even continue.


On the whole, Pneumonia is fair at best and at that a lackluster sellout -- an entire album of mediocrity illustrating a band's identity crisis, while grasping at those big dollars on the way down.
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Spokane Gives Week

Spokane Gives Week @ Spokane

Through May 3

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Amy Sinisterra

  • Rattle & amp;amp; Hum

    With its telltale screech and distant grumble, it is suddenly there. An endless stream of cars, perfect long boxes, passing with their hum and click, with their rum and rumble, cutting their outlines on brick buildings which offer back f
    • Nov 1, 2004
  • Top Ten Backpacking Foods

    One of the biggest challenges of going backpacking is knowing what food to bring. The first time I went backpacking, those expensive bags of dehydrated meals you buy at your local outdoor supply store seemed like the obvious solution. We
    • Jul 15, 2004
  • A Walk in the Woods

    "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." -- Henry David Thorea
    • Jul 15, 2004
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Restore the Honesty

    Re-establishing trust with the public will require courage on the part of our elected officials
    • Apr 8, 2015
  • Don't Test Me

    The Smarter Balanced standardized test has sparked a rebellion in Western Washington — and it's spreading
    • Apr 15, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation