T-Bone Burnett

Behind the Trap Door

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Behind the Trap Door Review

by Brett Hartenbach

Behind the Trap Door, T-Bone Burnett's fourth recording (his second EP) following the breakup of the Alpha Band, is a varied collection of material that includes collaborations with Bono, Bob Neuwirth, and Richard Thompson. The record, with its stripped-down and decidedly uncommercial sound, along with the inclusion of a soundtrack instrumental and a cut recorded prior to 1980's Truth Decay sessions, has the feel of a career filler for Burnett (he was between major labels). This by no means suggests that Behind the Trap Door is without its charms. The opener, "Strange Combination," is pure Burnett, with its impressionistic spoken lyric over a chunky acoustic guitar and clanging percussion. "Amnesia and Jealousy (Oh! Lana)" and "The Law of Average" are infectious acoustic pop, while the winsome instrumental "Welcome Home, Mr. Lewis," written with Thompson, closes the record nicely. Fans of T-Bone Burnett's work will find pleasures throughout Behind the Trap Door, although it's by no means an essential piece of his catalog.

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