Powderfinger

Vulture Street

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

The opening notes of this album have a great rock flavor to them, recalling Primal Scream circa Rocks, or early Rolling Stones on the playful "Rockin' Rocks." Led by the guitars of Bernard Fanning and Ian Haug, the chorus seems to stall a bit in its jerky arrangement, but settles back into a fine groove. This continues on the tight and impressive "(Baby I've Got You) On My Mind" which sounds very close to the Stereophonics rehashing old-school rock for a contemporary feeling. A blues opening on "Since You've Been Gone" leads into an uplifting gospel-tinged effort, ambling along beautifully in the heartfelt vein of the Black Crowes or Wide Mouth Mason. And the ragged nature to this album is its greatest selling point, providing and exposing far more soul than previous efforts. "Love Your Way" and its acoustic arrangement showcases the vocals quite well without venturing into a singer/songwriter idea, veering into a rock-blues blueprint. What is most surprising is the consistency of the record, especially the adorable "Sunsets," which could be Powderfinger's equivalent to the Verve's Lucky Man. The pop-rock quotient is abundant throughout, particularly during the Tom Petty-esque toe-tapper "Don't Panic." Perhaps the only run-of-the-mill performance is the mid-tempo, guitar crunchy "Roll Right by You." And even then it's able to surpass the high bar they've created thus far. "How Far Have We Really Come?" might be mistaken for Chris Robinson's solo album -- a reflective and swaying Southern rock effort. By the time "A Song Called Everything" appears, the album should have given you more than a sense of Southern satisfaction. An outstanding piece of work!

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