Greg Brown

Over and Under

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Taking a vacation from Red House, his regular label, Greg Brown recorded this collection for the even smaller Trailer Records, which is based in his home state of Iowa. Recorded in just two days, it has a live-in-the-studio feel, which for the most part, is probably just what it is. There are some off-the-cuff and even off-the-wall experiments here -- stuff that might not have made it onto a more official Brown release on Red House. Be that as it may, though, this is mostly terrific stuff. Brown's gravelly vocals are as good as ever, and so are his songs, which range from playful and silly to poignant and powerful. Among the best in the latter category: "857-5413," in which a more than slightly drunken man calls up his now-married ex-lover. Brown fans will find a lot on this album to get excited about, and aside from the cheap cardboard packaging, virtually nothing to complain about.

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