Asleep Many Years in the Wood

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What a difference an album makes. After toying around with nursery rhymes with mixed results, and releasing a tepid self-titled album of originals, the Anomoanon finally perfected their approach with Asleep Many Years in the Wood. Their overall sound isn't all that different -- they still sound remarkably similar to the Grateful Dead without the meandering tendencies, or like the Eagles with a bit more grit, and a certain singsongy quality remains. But the difference is the songwriting, and it's evident right from the first track, the remarkable "Sixteen Ways," a song both mellow and energetic, like the best studio work of the Dead. Other highlights include the majestic "Bluebird of Happiness," the rocking "Kick Back," and the plaintive "Y'Know." Rarely does '70s-style country-rock sound this vibrant and alive. With Asleep Many Years in the Wood, the Anomoanon finally deserved to be known other than as "Will Oldham's brother's band."

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