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I’ve always said
I was gonna leave you …
When all the land is wet …
—“I’m Not Ready Yet”
And remarkably, ridiculously, George Jones recalls Chaucer, whose April showers pierced the March drought, and Eliot, for whom April was the cruelest month.
I know, Jones didn’t write that one (Tom T. Hall did). For that matter, he didn’t write a great many of the songs that made him famous. That’s beside the point, because poetry has always been about sound, about voice, and Jones had a voice as strong as Chaucer’s or Eliot’s.
The loving four-minute tribute to all the Darias in the world is a little rough around the edges (hence appropriately tagged as “rough mix”), but it doesn’t stop the layered vocal harmonies, the ingenius hooks that get you singing along right from the very first listen and the brilliant lyrics from shining. They’ve not strayed anywhere from their past direction, but when a band focuses on what they do the best and the results are as irresistably affable as this, it’s impossible to complain. Most importantly, it’s got the timeless Wonderlick sound to it that stirs nostalgia from your personal good old days in an abstract way that doesn’t directly sound like anyone else: “Sixteenyearoldgirl” already feels like something you’ve treasured for years.