Music

Tedeschi Trucks Band: Made Up Mind

Made Up Mind is a brilliant throwback without ever truly sounding anachronistic.


Tedeschi Trucks Band

Made Up Mind

Label: Sony Masterworks
US Release Date: 2013-08-20
UK Release Date: 2013-08-19
Amazon
iTunes

What do you get when you mix a captivating husband-wife duo with the considerable talents of nine others? The result, my friends, is the supremely talented Tedeschi Trucks Band, fronted by guitarist/vocalist Susan Tedeschi and guitarist Derek Trucks. On Made Up Mind, the superb followup to the acclaimed debut effort Revelator, the 11-piece band delivers compelling performances that showcase the upmost musicianship. Compiled of a mix of blues, folk, classic rock, gospel and retro-soul sensibilities, Made Up Mind is a brilliant throwback without ever truly sounding anachronistic.

Title track “Made Up Mind” opens the effort brilliantly. The overall production is sensational, with the horn orchestration standing out amongst the rest. Tedeschi sounds invested vocally and incredibly soulful and nuanced. By the end, she lets loose, showcasing exceptional grit characteristic of the blues idiom. “Do I Look Worried” follows with brilliant consistency, based in 6/8 time and smothered in soulfulness. Like the opener, Tedeschi’s professionalism, particularly her ability to deliver an engaging and rousing performance, shines throughout the course of this cut. Throw in exceptional guitar soloing, and Made Up Mind shimmers with radiance two tracks in.

“Idle Wind” has the tall task to proceed two juggernauts, but it holds its own well without superseding either. Although it’s still captivating, “Misunderstood” is more well rounded, based around a funky sound. In regards to songwriting, the cut is incredibly well conceived and quite memorable. Supporting vocals add to the delightful ‘ear candy’ provided by the band. Keeping right in step, “Part Of Me” thrives, once more showcases the ridiculous talents of Tedeschi and Trucks. Follow-up “Whiskey Legs” features some of the album’s best guitar moments, with dueling guitars serving as the epitome of musicianship.

“It’s So Heavy” is truly ‘heavy’, but even with the slackened pace, energy and the personality remain fully intact. Tedeschi’s vocals are smooth, yet still retain a coarseness and nuanced nature that makes her so desirable to listen to. The guitar solo may lack crazy, virtuosic shedding, but it’s sensible, smart pacing still provides plenty of weight. “All That I Need” is definitely groovier than “It’s So Heavy” based in retro-soul sensibility, but doesn’t supersede the more restrained number. That said, “All That I Need” benefits from its simplicity, particularly the titular lyric which makes quite an effective refrain (“You’re all I want and all that I need … ”).

“Sweet and Low” continues the oscillation between slow and fast tempos, opting for a more relaxed vibe. And R&B edge rears its head from the backing vocals, which add a sound amount of soul. An adventurous harmonic scheme keeps “Sweet and Low” relatively interesting, but the song does feel a bit too slowish and drawn out after a while. Penultimate cut “The Storm” is brilliant atonement with nothing short of a head-nodding groove, but perhaps is most notable for its extended jam session at the end. “Calling Out to You” is none too shabby itself, closing an exceptional album strongly.

All in all, Made Up Mind is one of the more intriguing efforts from 2013. Combining cues from multiple styles and showcasing top-notch musicianship, there are few cons to scrutinize. Maybe a song or two oversteps with ambitious durations, but ultimately, there are just too many attributes and too much great singing and playing from Tedeschi Trucks Band to be critical.

8
Music


Books


Film


Television


Recent
Music

"I'm an Audience Member, Playing This Music for Us": An Interview With Keller Williams

Veteran musician Keller Williams discusses his special relationship with the Keels, their third album together, Speed, and what he learned from following the Grateful Dead.

Books

Shintaro Kago's 'Dementia 21' Showcases Surrealist Manga

As much as I admire Shintaro Kago's oddness as a writer, his artistic pen is even sharper (but not without problems) as evident in Dementia 21.

Music

Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad Proclaim 'Jazz Is Dead!' Long Live Jazz!

Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad bring their live collaborative efforts with jazz veterans to recorded life with Jazz Is Dead 001, a taste of more music to come.

Film

"I'll See You Later": Repetition and Time in Almodóvar's 'All About My Mother'

There are mythical moments in Almodóvar's All About My Mother. We are meant to register repetition in the story as something wonderfully strange, a connection across the chasm of impossibility.

Music

Electropop's CMON Feel the Noise on 'Confusing Mix of Nations'

Pop duo CMON mix and match contemporary and retro influences to craft the dark dance-pop on Confusing Mix of Nations.

Music

'Harmony' Is About As Bill Frisell As a Bill Frisell Recording Can Be

Bill Frisell's debut on Blue Note Records is a gentle recording featuring a few oddball gems, particularly when he digs into the standard repertoire with Petra Haden's voice out front.

Music

The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 4, James Chance to the Pop Group

This week we are celebrating the best post-punk albums of all-time and today we have part four with Talking Heads, the Fall, Devo and more.

Music

Raye Zaragoza's "Fight Like a Girl" Shatters the Idea of What Women Can and Can't Do (premiere)

Singer-songwriter and activist Raye Zaragoza's new single, "Fight Like a Girl", is an empowering anthem for intersectional feminism, encouraging resilience amongst all women.

Music

VickiKristinaBarcelona Celebrate Tom Waits on "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" (premiere)

VickiKristinaBarcelona celebrate the singular world of Tom Waits their upcoming debut, Pawn Shop Radio. Hear "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" ahead of tomorrow's single release.

Television

'Everything's Gonna Be Okay' Is  Better Than Okay

The first season of Freeform's Everything's Gonna Be Okay is a funny, big-hearted love letter to family.

Music

Jordan Rakei Breathes New Life Into Soul Music

Jordan Rakei is a restless artistic spirit who brings R&B, jazz, hip-hop, and pop craft into his sumptuous, warm music. Rakei discusses his latest album and new music he's working on that will sound completely different from everything he's done so far.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.