We chose two albums with curious themes from the solid list of new releases out at Good Records this week.
The reigning maestro of guitar compositions so reminiscent of place that listeners can feel the sun rise over cool Nashville when his so-titled record plays is back with another story to tell. This time, the plucked-out narrative is set in rural Herber Springs, Arkansas, with reclusive portrait photographer Mike Disfarmer as the protagonist and the inspiration for the record's name. NPR told the man's intriguing story in its Exclusive First Listen feature on Frisell's 'Disfarmer.' On the song "Farmer," the loneliness of the town outcast who dealt with people in such an intimate way in his line of work is heard in simple melody and open space, a method Frisell uses often that's hard on the heartstrings.
Our Lady Peace :: "Burn Burn" CD and DVD (Coalition Entertainment Records)
What's the deal with all the popular lifesaver songs right now? You'd think The Fray had cornered the market on lover-as-savior anthems like "You Found Me" and the ever-subtle "How to Save a Life". But Our Lady Peace goes into the trenches of physical harm and healing on their latest release as if the theme is a lucrative subgenre. Funny thing is, the band got it right back in 1998 with "Clumsy," a song that presented a drowing and a somewhat reluctant rescue as a metaphor for the chaos of relationships and forgiveness. The first single on OLP's newest record, "All You Did Was Save My Life," completely flops as a sour one-note radio rocker. We miss these guys the way they were before the new millenium hit.