Monday, March 17, 2008

Review: Mechanical Bull - A Million Yesterdays

Label: Woodstock Musicworks

Released: November 1, 2007

A Million Yesterdays's brand of Americana generally alternates between country and country rock, finding the most consistency with the former, but perhaps their best moments with the latter. Their more traditional songs show clear command of the genre. Avalon Peacock's voice might get a little shaky in her vibrato, but that along with rough male/female harmonies give the songs color more often than hindering them. Their upbeat country tunes are their best, because they find that irony between the bright surface and the sad undercurrent.

When Mechanical Bull throws more rock into the mix, they don't reach the heights of the bands like the Allmans, at least partially because they're too low-key for that kind of energy. However, they do at times approach the Eagles (if only the Eagles had soul), managing to be catchy without too much pop. The result is sometimes generic, but at other times they mix things up with odd instrumentation (see the sax part on "Desert Air") that shows they have personality and that they should show it more, because it works.

All in all, A Million Yesterdays has some very bright moments, but doesn't consistently let itself shine. When they're a typical Americana band, Mechanical Bull isn't bad. It's when they aren't typical though that they approach something really special.

Satriani: 6/10
Zappa: 7/10
Dylan: 6/10
Aretha: 6/10
Overall: 6/10



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