T-Bone Burnett

Trap Door [EP]

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Following a short stint with Takoma Records, T-Bone Burnett moved back into the majors with a 1982 release for Warner Bros., the six-song EP Trap Door. Whereas his previous record, Truth Decay, had the feel of an early Sam Phillips recording for Sun Records, Trap Door is filled with tight, radiant folk-rock. Fronting the same basic lineup (Davids-Mansfield, Miner, and Kemper), Burnett adorns this batch of provocative tunes with shimmering guitar hooks, crafty rhythms, and an astute sense of detail and subtlety to create some of the most irresistible pop of his career (check out his terrific cover of the Marilyn Monroe standard "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend"). "Hold on Tight," a message of love and mercy, is pure '60s pop, while "I Wish You Could've Seen Her Dance" opens with what could be a lyrical update of "I Saw Her Standing There" and then proceeds to recollect a conversation with a beautiful dancer set to a propulsive, shifting rhythm and an engaging melody. The title track closes the record with a half-spoken array of life's contradictions before an infectious chorus diverts your attention, only to arrive at the stark warning, "Watch out for the trap door." Intelligent and compelling, Trap Door is well worth hunting down.

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