What does it sound like?:
It’s a while since John Prine released an album of new self-penned songs although technically many of these are co-writes. I was lucky enough to see him at the London Palladium last year where he played a stunning set with a stellar band. At the time I can remember thinking I was unlikely to see him again. Defying those thoughts here he is with a new album and new dates later in the year in the UK.
Of all those offered up as potential ‘New Dylans’ Prine is the one with the best songs throughout an excellent if not prolific career. So what of this new album? I am delighted that it is here but a little sad that his voice sounds a little weaker on some of the songs. I hope it doesn’t portend another period of ill health that the has been previously dogged with. Summers End and When I get to heaven both have a melancholy feel to them even though the latter has an upbeat tune. Throw in a couple of love songs and the semi political Lonesome Friends of Science and you have a similar album to his last one Fair and Square although the instrumentation is more sparse fitting the valedictory tone of the album.
What does it all *mean*?
Whilst this release is welcome I can’t help think that it has the feel of say Cohen’s ‘I want it darker’.
I dearly want to be proved wrong because Prine over the years has given me immense pleasure – more than Dylan thats for sure.
Goes well with…
Other John Prine albums. It preaches to the converted but there ain’t nothing wrong with that.
Might suit people who like…
Singer songwriters. Quiet solitude and thoughtfulness.