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Cowboy Junkies - The Wilderness

  by Carl Bookstein

published: 21 / 4 / 2012

Cowboy Junkies - The Wilderness
Label: Proper Records
Format: CD


Poignantly fragile but rewarding latest album, the last in their Nomads series, from the Cowboy Junkies

The Cowboy Junkies’ 'The Wilderness' is the fourth and final album in their rich Nomad Series which has spanned the past eighteen months. With violin, Wurlitzer, organ and mandolin by guest musicians, the Cowboy Junkies assemble a beautiful rendering of sound. The Canadian band somehow captures a poignant fragility that is also at once strong and solid. The Cowboy Junkies are Margo Timmins on vocals, Michael Timmins on guitar, Peter Timmins on drums and Alan Anton on bass. All the songs on 'The Wilderness' were written by Michael Timmins. The Cowboy Junkies’ music possesses sonic subtlety and folk comfort. Margo Timmins vocals are lovely on the opener 'Unanswered Letter (for JB)' as she sings. “I lost my heart/I left it alongside the river.” The sounds here are eerie and gorgeous. 'Idle Tales' is an easy thoughtful folk tune. The Cowboy Junkies sculpt real song craft, conjuring a sound that is at once spare and abundant. 'Angels in the Wilderness' features hushed tones with Margo’s vocals in the forefront. On the new album, understated instrumentals hit just the right note. With a strong melodic hook and a tasteful lyric, 'Damaged from the Start' could be the album’s finest moment: “We broke each other’s hearts/Let’s just say that they were damaged from the start.” 'Staring Man' features another evocative Margo Timmins vocal- soothing to the core. 'I Let Him In# is spiritual and thought provoking, offering a welcome home and a resolution with the lyric “until you no longer doubt his purpose.” The effect is soul healing. While the songs here tell stories that express feelings of being in an emotional wilderness, the characters nevertheless seem well grounded. The Cowboy Junkies end the album with the sharp up tempo rocker 'Fuck, I Hate the Cold' showcasing the band’s life out on the road: “Too much fun plugging in and starting to play.” All in all, 'The Wilderness' is another fine outing for the Cowboy Junkies- a band still very much on their game.

Track Listing:-
1 Unanswered Letter
2 Idle Tales
3 We Are The Selfish Ones
4 Angels In The Wilderness
5 Damaged From The Start
6 Fairytale
7 Staring Man
8 The Confession Of Georgie E
9 I Let Him In
10 Fuck, I Hate The Cold

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