Wednesday, February 9, 2011

David Lowery • The Palace Guards

What I like best about David Lowery, who has incidentally fronted two of my favorite bands—Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker—is that he can effortlessly move from rockin' to weepin', poppin' to peepin', and runnin' to creepin', all within the confines of a normal length album. His first solo disc, The Palace Guards, doesn't rock as much as most of you will remember Cracker doing with "Low" and the like, yet there's so much to dig on this that you probably would have forgotten that if I hadn't've reminded you.

Lowery doesn't disappoint his longtime fans here. The tunes tend more toward the CVB side, I suppose, but that's not counting Cracker's countryish Countrysides album, or their collaboration with Leftover Salmon. His trademark sense of humor is represented well, for instance on the title track, as is that sweet, sorta boy next door side, the one that utters such great lyrics as these from "Submarine": "All we got is love and time and kindnesses / To carry us in troubled times and crisises." Rock 'n' roll isn't entirely absent, as you'll hear on "Baby, All Those Girls Meant Nothing to Me," which is only missing the gritty guitar of Johnny Hickman to make it a real life cracker. (JH does make a brief appearance on the CD though.) I'm also nuts about "Ah, You Left Me," which isn't so rockin' and wasn't even written by David, though you'd never know it if I hadn't've reminded you.

Basically, anyone who's into CVB or Cracker will entirely enjoy this CD, unless you've got something against fun albums that warrant repeated listenings. And since David Lowery rarely lets us down in this regard, I think you'll find my little review to be superfluous once you meet The Palace Guards for yourself.

3.5/5 (429 Records)

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