Standing in the breach

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Inside Recordings,
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On Jackson Browne's first studio recording since 2008, the man who defined the '70s singer/songwriter generation finds a fresh way of dealing with the world as it is both personally and politically -- by going back to his own roots. Lyrically, Browne is inspired in a way he hasn't been since 1976's The Pretender, and this recording's production aesthetic adheres closer to that of even earlier records. His core accompanists are guitarists Greg Leisz and Val McCallum, with an all-star cast. Socio-political songs are plentiful, but these come from an intimate -- and therefore more appealing -- perspective; he often uses personal memory to frame his concerns. The opener is a (finally) finished version of "The Birds of St. Marks," a song begun in 1967 and performed live intermittently but never recorded in a studio. Its sound harkens back to the the Byrds. Jangly guitars and an electric 12-string solo frame its introspective lyrics. "Yeah Yeah" borrows the changes from Lou Reed's "Sweet Jane" and pulls them off anew in a love song: "And you paid for the love that we've got, you paid/And you made for the heart when we fought and you stayed…" "Leaving Winslow" is a West Coast country song whose locale was namechecked in "Take It Easy," yet this isn't an exercise in nostalgia but a solid, and sometimes humorous, paean to acceptance and the desire to disappear. Few writers could deliver a poignant song where surfing transitions to environmentalism and the historical consequences of empire. Browne can, and does -- with obvious melodic inspiration from Paul McCartney -- on "If I Could Be Anywhere," where step by step, the political is equated with personal responsibility. There are two exceptional covers that introduce the record's latter half. Both are stellar love songs that are nonetheless topical, and both are by true song poets. The first is a stunning folk-rock arrangement of Woody Guthrie's "You Know the Night," while "Walls and Doors" is a translation of Cuban songwriter/guitarist Carlos Varela's "Las Paredes y Puertas," and features him and his trio. The latter is a lilting romantic ballad, arranged to underscore both the composer's and Browne's personas. Only "Which Side Are You On" sounds "preachy," but that's because it is; it employs the same gospel-blues lyric scheme Bob Dylan did on "You Gotta Serve Somebody" but to secular ends. The title track, led by the songwriter and his piano, is a testament to the power of irrepressible hope and resilience: "Though the world may tremble and our foundations crack/We will all assemble and we will build them back." Closer "Her" is one of Browne's classic broken love songs; its sadness echoes long after the album whispers to a close. Standing in the Breach is a back to the basics Browne album, and is all the better for it. He's no longer speaking at anyone, but conversing from the well of his own experience. ~ Thom Jurek
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696751141279 (sound recording : hoopla Music)
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Grouped Work ID 511922aa-a34c-4e9a-f414-13de702ffded
Grouping Title standing in the breach
Grouping Author browne jackson
Grouping Category music
Last Grouping Update 2019-09-01 04:30:52AM
Last Indexed 2019-09-14 04:29:59AM

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author Browne, Jackson,
author2-role hoopla digital.
author_display Browne, Jackson
available_at_loveland Loveland Public Library
detailed_location_loveland Loveland Adult Nonfiction Compact Disk
Online Hoopla Collection
display_description A collection of ten songs, at times deeply personal and political, exploring love, hope, and defiance in the face of the advancing uncertainties of modern life.
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format_loveland Music Recording
id 511922aa-a34c-4e9a-f414-13de702ffded
isbn 0696751141071
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local_callnumber_loveland Pop/Rock Browne, J.
owning_library_loveland Loveland Public Library
owning_location_loveland Loveland Public Library
primary_isbn 0696751141071
primary_upc 696751141071
publishDate 2014
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
hoopla:MWT11188793 eMusic Music English Inside Recordings, 2014. 1 online resource (1 audio file (56 min.)) : digital.
ils:.b22179574 Music Recording Music English Inside Recordings, 2014. 1 audio disc (56 min.) : CD audio, digital ; 4 3/4 in.
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subject_facet Popular music -- 2011-2020
Rock music -- 2011-2020
Sound recording
title_display Standing in the breach
title_full Standing in the breach [compact disc] / Jackson Browne
Standing in the breach [electronic resource] / Jackson Browne
title_short Standing in the breach
topic_facet Popular music
Rock music
upc 696751141071
696751141279 (sound recording : hoopla Music)