Cheap Vodka Rain is a collection of eleven songs with enough twang to produce a few tears in a few people's beers yet Breeding and his band never skimp on the rock and roll.
In the world of alt. country songwriters, Willie Breeding is as genuine an article as they come. Cheap Vodka Rain is a collection of eleven songs with enough twang to produce a few tears in a few people's beers yet Breeding and his band never skimp on the rock and roll. Breeding's outstanding songcraft is on display from start to finish, with nary a weak cut in the bunch.
Cheap Vodka Rain kicks off with "White Dress"; drenched in shimmering steel guitar and stacked harmonies, the song gets its form from a well-constructed chord progression and its spirit from a great melody, the first of many. Arguably, the album's most tuneful moments come in the ballad "With Your Costume On", on which Breeding's confident yet world-weary voice paints a vivid picture of longing and heartache. Other stellar cuts include the first-rate ballad "Bruises" which could make a home both on country radio and an indie kid's iPod. The track features some great guitar outros from producer/Marah leader Dave Bielanko whose presence is felt but never overshadows Breeding's considerable talent.
Also worth mentioning are the Beatles-gone-country shuffle of "Grey Skies" and the organ-laced "Cold When We Met". While these tracks distinguish themselves a bit from the pack, the album is a consistent triumph for Breeding and an eye-opener for the rest of us.