I’m reviewing each disc in isolation (and ranking each – as it turns out they sell separately now).
To my ears/tastes, after a frenetic opening disc, the momentum gets all but lost on this awkward middle child.
The opener (Roses) is dreary and skip-worthy. Love is like Jazz is a clever exercise and conceit, but pretty much argues against its own merits (ah, a pun!). The quality level rises for a couple of subsequent songs, but then we’re back in noodly twaddle land.
In the end I spy only four excellent songs here — Kiss me like you mean it, Washington DC, (Crazy for you) but no that crazyc- and this cracking paen to the country genre, rodeos, trucking and to the wonderous surprise of lifelong romance:
That track speaks to the brilliance of Merritt and co. They subtly subvert a very familiar genre while retaining that which also makes such tunes tug upon the heartstrings of many.
Alas, four tunes (plus another 3-4 real ‘triers’) out of 23 doesn’t a love fest make.
File under: More repulsion than attraction