After 10 years of no new material, Freakwater have released an eighth kickass album, Scheherazade. This Kentucky-recorded album is both haunting and alluring. Scheherazade is diverse in style but consistent in talent, an album divided between fiddling murder ballads like “What the People Want” and Southern-beachy-feeling tracks like “Velveteen Matador.” This electric-folk album presents a track that is instrumentally upbeat, and then the next is slow-going and grave. Lyrically, Scheherazade reflects on affliction and imminent death. With distant-sounding harmonies and soothing electric-sets, Freakwater manifests the best elements of a bluesy, electric, country-folk band.
Surprises abound on the first release in six years from Chicago’s Freakwater. Though the Appalachian-style harmonies of Catherine Irwin and Janet Beveridge Bean remain the heart of the band’s sound, Thinking of You extends the sonic range well beyond purism or revivalism. With the backing of labelmates Califone and an eclectic group of supporting musicians, the arrangements employ everything from a bass clarinet solo on “Buckets of Oil” to a musical saw on “Jack the Knife” (no relation to Mack) to a pump organ on the country waltz of “Cricket vs. Ant.” While “Jewel” sounds like it might have come from the early songbook of Dolly Parton, the closing “Hi Ho Silver” could pass as a druggy ballad from the ’70s Rolling Stones. Following solo albums by Irwin and Bean, both singer-songwriters have brought strong material (maybe their strongest to date) and fresh inspiration back to the Freakwater table.
mp3 VBR~187 kbps | 70 MB | UL