I have heard The Sadies off and on for the past few years,
mostly backing Neko Case live. I have to admit that this
is the first time I've ever actually listened to one of their
records front to back - and I have to tell you, I am a fan. The
most obvious and forward thing for me to tell you about The Sadies
is that they are the modern day Byrds. All of the pieces
fit nicely into this equation. The vocal harmonies are reminiscent
of those early days of country-rock, the guitars are jangly and
chime right along with Roger McGuinn's 12-string work,
and the leads are fuzzy and full of those same near-psychedelic
underpinnings. This band invokes the spirit of those glorious
days in rock's yesteryear, but without sounding contrived or plagiarized.
Kicking Favourite Colours off is the instrumental "Northumberland
West", which I swear I would think was a Byrds' tune if I
was to hear it without knowing who it was. And perhaps that's
where it all came together for me. Or perhaps it was on "Translucent
Sparrow", with its country guitars and fuzzed out solos;
or maybe the dark and somber tone of "1000 Cities Falling
(Part1)" was what really set me up for my love of this record.
"A Good Flying Day" is the track that has been set for
radio to rotate, and I can't argue with the crisp acoustic guitars
and swinging, yet sparse, drums of this amazing song
I will most assuredly let you all know that there is far more
depth to this record than that clean beauty. There is the surf
instrumental "Only you And Your Eyes", which is filled
with classic guitar tones and laidback emotion - perfect for that
sunny summer day, kicking back with your favorite cold beverage.
The jangling and speedy rhythm guitars of "As Much As Such"
and the dreamy psychedelic cast of "The Curdled Journey"
help to create the unique vibe of this record. Relaxing songs
like "Why Would Anybody Live Here?" intersperse this
record with relief from the slight tension of songs like "Song
Of The Chief Musician (Part 2)". All things considered, this
record is a journey of musical discovery in the same worlds that
Donovan, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Roger
McGuinn, and their cohorts first began to reveal in the 60's.
It is a breath of fresh air in a time that music tends towards
stale recreations of classics, rather than redefinitions of the
sounds that those pioneers began to develop.
If you have been eagerly waiting for the next movement in alt-country,
this record may not be the place to look. If you are looking for
roots music, steeped in tradition, filled with delicate and beautiful
guitar work and ambitious lyrics, then this is definitely a record
for you to hear. The epic sound that McGuinn and company created
on their records in the late 1960's is most definitely captured
on Favourite Colours, and there are more than a few times
when listening makes me want to pull out my dusty vinyl copy of
Younger Than Yesterday and revel in the crisp psychedelic
or maybe I'll just listen to Favourite
1. Northumberland West
2. Translucent Sparrow
3. 1000 Cities Falling (Part 1)
4. Song Of The Chierf Musician (Part 2)
5. The Curdled Journey
6. Why Be so Curious (Part 3)
7. The Iceberg
8. A Good Flying Day
9. Only You And Your Eyes
10. As Much As Such
11. A Burning Snowman
12. Coming Back
13. Why Would Anybody Live Here?
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