T-Bone Burnett

Proof Through the Night

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Proof Through the Night, T-Bone Burnett's first, and last, full-length release for Warner Bros., is an ambitious take on the state of the union and times, personified by various fallen characters. To some, his persistent morality may come across as being a bit cold or even self-righteous, but further investigation reveals an underlying empathy for the individuals, even if a cynicism for the times in which they live is expressed. And if Burnett may seem tough, don't think he excludes himself from the same scrutiny. In cuts such as "Pressure" and the record's best song, "Shut It Tight," he sees himself as "just an ordinary man," struggling with the same sorts of questions, temptations, and contradictions as, for instance, those of the protagonist in the record's centerpiece, "The Sixties." Musically, he serves his tales of "beautiful, wealthy, young divorcees," fallen women, and victims of times where we "keep all the bad, destroy all the good" on a bed of vibrant, guitar-driven rock & roll and folk, even lacing spoken parables such as "Fatally Beautiful," "The Sixties," and "Hefner and Disney" with subtle hooks and enticing nuances and choruses. Like T-Bone Burnett's other Warner Bros. release, Trap Door, Proof Through the Night is smart, tight, insightful, and unfortunately not yet available on CD. Guests include Pete Townsend, Mick Ronson, Richard Thompson, the Williams Brothers, and Ry Cooder.

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