Terry Allen

Smokin' the Dummy/Bloodlines

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A combination of Terry Allen's 1980 and 1983 Fate Records releases, with songs that range from almost-traditional country done with a very untraditional attitude all the way out to thump-in-the-ear rock moments. The 18 cuts here don't represent Allen at his level best, but they do provide a fine sampling of his songwriting approach, with some great moments. Allen can be decidedly subversive at times, and in-your-face at others, and it can almost be guaranteed that some of the twists he tosses out here will not be seen coming. Some songs will definitely induce heavy breathing and a feeling of having looked a bit too closely at the hell mouth -- "Ourland" achieves that with ease. It's often less about having the world's foibles pointed out than having a bright light shone on the world's more arcane lies. On the other hand, there's also the song about Jesus carrying out a carjacking. Terry Allen may well be one of the best arguments country music has for its existence.

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