Ten White Stones

The Green Pajamas

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Ten White Stones Review

by Jimmy James

Live albums are often issued as a "stopgap" sort of releases while a band prepares more serious studio material. Ten White Stones is a "live" album with a difference, though, in that it was recorded live in the studio over the course of two nights, rather than in front of a concert audience. It's not quite a "studio" album, either, for three of the ten songs had already come out via studio versions on other records, although the remaining seven songs were all previously unreleased. Aside from the unusual concept, it's pretty much an average Green Pajamas record, the sound possessing a raw edge, but not nearly as raw as an actual live recording would be likely to have; many listeners wouldn't even suspect it was a "live-in-the-studio" setup. And what, pray tell, is an "average" Green Pajamas record? It's one that, like Ten White Stones, offers competent post-psychedelia, with thick guitar lines that often fall somewhere between fuzz and folk-rock; a brooding, but not bummed-out, feel; and some male-female vocal harmonic interplay. It's a generally pleasing approach, though a little samey-sounding and bereft on this album of semi-castoffs at any rate, of really outstanding songs. Jeff Kelly's earnest vocals -- a kind of Roger McGuinn-Tom Petty for the indie world -- usually take the lead, and he wrote most of the material, too, though Laura Weller sings "Holden Caulfield." The only cover here is a quite uncharacteristic one, of Hank Williams' "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love With You)."

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