Blue Suitcase

Paul Sprawl

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Blue Suitcase Review

by Jim Smith

Sprawl's brand of acoustic country blues is not nearly as compelling as it could be given the right circumstances. Almost from the get-go, his somber, plodding style grows tiresome, and it isn't until "Lover's Hand" (four songs in) that he offers any kind of change. The album's desolate desert ambience is well-realized, but Sprawl lacks the conviction and energy to put his weak songs across, and arranges the running order such that the best songs come at the end of the album, after one has all but lost the desire to hear them. Of these, "Out of Your Mind" and "Edward's Story," which tells of a Bavarian guitar handed down to Mick Jagger by Adolf Hitler, are the strongest, but they are exceptions. For the most part, the album is virtually devoid of melody, and over the course of 12 songs the music changes so little that one wonders if Sprawl might not be better served by a soundtrack appearance rather than a full album.

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