Cowboy Mouth

Easy

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AllMusic Review by

Cowboy Mouth just wasn't made for these times, but they're inextricably part of them. They are very much a product of the late '90s, dabbling in lightly funky beats, loud post-grunge guitars, soulful funk, rap-like alliteration, postmodern jokes, and loose-limbed jams, but their spirit seems to be from another era, when groups toured for months and years on end. In short, they're a bit like a cross of Sister Hazel and Barenaked Ladies, tempered with the soul and character of a '70s journeyman band. That makes them somewhat less than hip, but on their third major-label album, Easy, they're more interesting than some of the trad rock and jam bands they're usually grouped with. That doesn't mean that they're easier to digest for listeners not acclimated to this sound; the occasionally overwrought singing, occasionally pedestrian songwriting, and the occasional joke, plus the too carefully considered production keeps Easy at a bit of a distance for the uninitiated. Still, it's hardly a bad record and the best moments do show that the group members are capable songwriters (the bouncing, Brit-styled "Everybody Loves Jill" is a clever highlight), and the whole thing suggests that they would be a really good live band. But here, they only show part of their potential.

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