Fred Eaglesmith

Falling Stars and Broken Hearts

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After a few brilliant early records, Eaglesmith decided to more or less coast on the formula he had perfected with Lipstick, Lies, and Gasoline. 50 Odd Dollars showed, however, that the trailer-trash shtick had already worn thin, which makes the improved Falling Stars and Broken Hearts all the more welcome. Wisely, Eaglesmith has chosen to alter his sound a bit, and although it takes awhile for the album to pick up, the loping country ballad "Ordinary Guy" touches off a string of winners that include the retro-rocker "Cumberland County," the atmospheric "Soft on the Shoulder," and "Cold War." In general, the country elements of this album are more traditional than Eaglesmith's past efforts, and while the substance may not be new, the fresh surroundings give a second chance to some of his more tired obsessions.

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