Oh boy, some voices I can handle and others I can’t. Unfortunately, the light and folksy “The Hardest Half” has singers Gabe Saucedo and Tony Prudhome sounding like a cross between Calexico and The Beautiful South. Perhaps the best example of this is “Special People” which has horns and a sweet melody but nothing here seems to mesh with each other. The earnest delivery also does little for the record judging by “There’s Nothing Wrong With Getting High” and the strolling “Joshua” that is appealing in the way Tiny Tim’s “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” was at one point in history. And this album then continues to drag and sag, drag and sag with the horn-tinged title track. A lot of the material is interesting, but at times too quirky and average with examples such as “Twelve Color Step” being a perfect case for this mediocrity. Some might say it’s XTC-ish, but that is one hell of a reach. Thankfully things close on a brighter note with the polka-laced “My New Best Friends”. If friends tell you about this album, best to seek out or make some new friends.
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// Notes from the Road
"McCartney welcomed Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt out for a song at Madison Square Garden.READ the article