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Cherry Pop

Title - Songs of the Recollection
Artist - Cowboy Junkies

Apple Music lists the newest album by Cowboy Junkies under the country label. Considering that their other nineteen albums listed all fall under the labels of Rock or Alternative.

This departure in genre seems oddly appropriate, considering that Songs of the Recollection is filled with songs and a sound that lean away from the Rock and Alternative labels.

Indeed, the band’s twentieth album is one of mostly cover songs by artists that have inspired the band to some degree, including David Bowie and Vic Chesnutt. And having heard very few of these tracks prior to listening to this album, I can safely say that these are the versions I prefer.

1. Five Years
2. Ooh Las Vegas
3. No Expectations
4. Don’t Let it Bring You Down
5. Love in Mind
6. The Way I Feel
7. I’ve Made Up My Mind to Give Myself to You
8. Marathon
9. Seventeen Seconds

“Five Years,” the opening track, reads exactly like the David Bowie cover it is, but makes an overall better use of vocals than its predecessor, thanks to NAME. She remains the standout through “Ooh Las Vegas,” (originally done by Graham Parsons), which has a beginning voca vibe a bit reminiscent of Enya, with a musical style on the back end that sounds like a Sheryl Crow song.

Each band member takes their turn, with “Seventeen Sounds” featuring more guitars than anything else. Overall, though, the drummer was the standout of them all.

Though the whole record is labeled ‘country,’ the track that best fits the bill is “I’ve Made Up My Mind to Give Myself to You.” It’s mellow, twangy, and wonderful. Vic Chestnutt’s “Marathon” earns the prestigious honor of Best Track, telling a cautionary tale about how “carrying the weight of the world saps every ounce of your strength.”

Using imagery of running a marathon race in dress shoes, the song’s message blends with dreamy vocals to produce something truly wonderful.

Much like this whole album is wonderful.

When listening to Songs of the Recollection, upon realizing it was an album of songs by artists whose work made an impact on the band, I’d initially wanted to listen only to their original music so as to get a better read on what the band is capable of.

But by the end of the album, my perspective had completely shifted. Songs of the Recollection made me realize that every good band is the sum of their parts, both skill and influence.

And Songs of the Recollection shows that Cowboy Junkies may well still have their best work in front of them.

Review by: Ashley J. Cicotte

Cowboy Junkies’ Songs of the Recollection is available on all major music streaming platforms.

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