|Dimensions||21 × 15 × 1.5 cm|
John Egenes – Crucifixion CD review by Chris Spencer
This is the third album of New Zealander Egenes that I have listened to recently. It has more connections to ‘Fretbuzz’ rather than ‘Up for Air’, in that is similarly laid back. John writes and performs in a country mode, utilising traditional country instruments such as dobro and pedal steel guitar (which Egenes plays himself) as well as fiddle, harmonica and mandolin. Perhaps the presence of viola, violins and cello suggest Egenes is open to using different instruments to provide a less obvious country album. His voice is distinctive, reedy and never gets stressed, it’s pretty laid back – such as on the two opening tunes – “West Texas Highway” and “Lonesome Town” which are slowish, lilting country. The title track has some religious connotations; “Better Luck Next Time” has female backing vocals which enhances the song about bad luck. Lost love is the theme of “Julia’s Song” – it’s a slow song highlighted by the fiddle playing of Anna Bowen. “The Engineer”, set to a jaunty circus music arrangement tackles the serious theme of the morals of people who invent weapons. “Muley Brown” is about a rodeo rider; “The Hacker” is upbeat while “Sittin’ on a Wet Log” has perhaps the best couplet – ‘I’m just a mule skinner, eating my dinner’ another country song featuring the fiddle. For fans of Egenes, there are no surprises here for you – you’ll love it. For others, this album is a good introduction to Egenes’ music.
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