Graham Parker

12 Haunted Episodes

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12 Haunted Episodes, Graham Parker's first album recorded for an independent label, is appropriately intimate and warm, recalling the simplicity of Struck By Lightning, but with a gentler approach. Parker makes no concessions to commercial radio on the record, dispensing with the slick productions that tended to plague his albums for the past decade or so. That doesn't mean the record is raw -- it means that it's more personal and intimate. At its core, 12 Haunted Episodes is not that different than Parker's records since The Mona Lisa's Sister: most of the songs are love songs to his wife and daughter, or they're tales of an aging rebel, trying to keep his youthful fire alive as he grows older. However, the songs are measured and reflective, signaling that he's settling gracefully into his middle age. When Parker does get bitter -- such as his attack on capitalism, "Disney's America" -- it doesn't seem vengeful, it seems regretful, which helps make 12 Haunted Episodes his most mature album to date.

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