Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Cuff The Duke’s self-titled follow-up to 2002’s Life Stories for Minimum Wage still has alt.country roots elements at the core of its sound, but has traded in some of its edginess for more orchestral pop sounds in places. It certainly isn’t the most lyrically cheery album that you’ll hear this year, but the music that envelops those words is varied enough that it evokes a multitude of moods during its 43-minute duration. Single/video Take My Money And Run is a rollicking anti-corporate song of destitution, while The Future Hangs and Belgium Or Peru are moving songs of lost love. There’s a solid mix of guitar and piano on the old-fashioned sounding The Ballad of Poor John Henry, which is topped off by charming female harmonies in the chorus. Moog and jangly guitar highlight the catchy I’ll Meet You On The Other Side, while an extended instrumental coda concludes the album on It’s Over. By producing quality music like this, Cuff The Duke’s career seems to be anything but over.

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