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You Can't Win CD (2007)

Artist: Dolorean

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Downbeat psych-folk-country-rock

by on 4/13/2007

Al James' challenge was to dive headlong into his personal darkness and see what was on the other side. The non-remunerative life of an indie artist was taking its toll on his psyche, and the phrase "you can't win" transformed in both his thoughts from a declaration of self-defeat to a personal challenge. What came of his journey was a new, less formal working style with his band, and downbeat music that's both bleak and dreamy. ¶ The opening title track's hypnotic background of drums, bass, organ and piano is both threatening and comforting beneath the repeated lyric's defeatist words and hopeful tone. There's liberation in the repetition, as if saying "you can't win" over and over will rob the phrase of its power to impede. The heavy, late-60s vibe brings to mind Meddle-era Pink Floyd and bad-trip psychedelia of The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour. ¶ The psych-hangover looms over many tracks, slowed and tempered by backwoods country gothic ala the The National Lights and somber Nick Drake-styled folk. The latter is heard in the melancholy mood and dispirited lyrics. The album is both lush and spare, languorous in tempo and measured in arrangement, but rich in melody and compelling in both instrumental and vocal tone. The closing of "Beachcomber Blues," has James repetition of the title giving way to an entrancing interplay of organ, piano and Emil Amos' guitar. ¶ This is a fine follow-up to 2004's "Violence in the Snowy Fields." The instrumentation is more tightly reined in, but the playing feels looser and more emotionally immediate. James' downbeat sensibility is more contemplative than desolate this time out, which is ironic given the album's title and the broken-hearted lyrics. [©2007 redtunictroll at hotmail dot com]

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Product Overview


Label Redeye Distribution
SKU 203989448
UPC 634457210929
UPC 14 00634457210929
Format CD
Release Date 2/20/2007
Author Dolorean
Product Attributes
Artist Dolorean
Label Yep Roc Records
Music Format Compact Disc

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Downbeat psych-folk-country-rock by on Apr 13, 2007