What does it sound like?:
John Prine is a superlative singer/songwriter – of that there is no doubt. Why then is his album of duets/covers In Spite of Ourselves my favourite album of his? It might be the friendly exuberance that permeates the album from start to finish even though the songs are about divorce or lost love. In his liner notes John says he hadn’t intended to do a second album in the same vein but they were releasing a vinyl version of In Spite of Ourselves and needed another 3 or 4 songs to make it a double vinyl release. One thing lead to another, they had a blast in the studio and now we have part two with 15 songs of pure class. There was apprehension when it arrived on friday that it wouldn’t meet my expectations. Those reservations disappeared immediately. It is a beautiful album with some newcomers as duet partners in the shape of Kacey Musgraves, Allison Krausss, Amanda Shires and Susan tedeschi. Even the familiar such as Falling in Love again, Cold Cold Heart and Dreaming my Dreams sound wonderful. I am listening for the third time today as I type this and it is that good it is making me well up and smile at the same time. Maybe I am just getting soppy in my old age but this album gives me a warm glow that few others have ever done. There have been some great releases this year but when the end of the year best of lists are made there is no way I will be able to leave this one out. Just lovely.
What does it all *mean*?
Country music has always had great songs and great voices – they are on display here in abundance.
Goes well with…
Sunday afternoons, autumnal sun, roast beef cooking away in the oven. Only downside I have to do the lawn rather than give this another spin.
Might suit people who like…
Great songs sung well.