Stratochief

In Search of the Seven Foot Woman

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

A cast of characters from some famed Toronto groups makes this album an enjoyable honky tonk adventure along the lines of Tennessee Twin, Neko Case, and Handsome Ned. The rollicking "Brother 12" features enough steel guitar and accordion to keep the listener's attention quite easily, resembling an early k.d. lang composition. Fronted by not a lone lead singer, the album varies greatly in its style, but the general barroom country & western atmosphere is prevalent on songs such as "Kitchen Clock." A couple of the songs sway into alt-country territory but are far from conspicuous in a soft-country campfire singalong of "Put Your Diamond in the Drawer." Musically the album is very tight, with each member of the large cast shining in various moments. When the band tackles a gospel country tune, though, things go astray slightly during "Where's My Moses." "Tennessee" also consists of well-trodden clich├ęs, but the energy seems to be lacking here. The group self-congratulatory remarks during the close of "Shoelace Easy" are well earned, though, the best song within. Closing with a Irish pub song that could be re-created in any brewery commercial may be construed as selling out, but the song seems far too sincere, with Vaughn Passmore coming off as Elvis Costello in certain instances.

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