Nashville has long been regarded as the capitol of country music, and that is unlikely to change anytime soon -- Nashville, after all, is the place where everyone from Ernest Tubb to Ray Price to Patty Loveless has recorded. But anyone who has seriously checked out Nashville's club scene can tell you that while country is the city's bread and butter, Nashville also has everything from blues to urban contemporary to rap. Ever since Llama's debut album, Close to the Silence, came out in 2001, those who live outside of Nashville have been surprised to learn that the alternative pop/rock band is from Music City -- after all, Nashville residents aren't supposed to make you think of U2, the Dave Matthews Band, or Phish instead of Garth Brooks or Toby Keith. But to those who actually live in Nashville, it isn't so surprising. Released in 2002, this four-song EP is meant to be a musical snack for Llama's hardcore fans -- something to tide them over between Close to the Silence and the trio's second full-length album (which MCA expected to release sometime in 2003). The comparisons that Close to the Silence inspired -- U2 and Dave Matthews as well as Phish -- are also valid on The World From Here. The jam band outlook is especially strong on the nine-minute instrumental "Serena," whereas the vocal offerings "Fly to You," "Waking Up," and "Wildest Dreams" are tuneful, shorter, more straightforward examples of alternative pop/rock. To their credit, Llama's members realize that jamming and craftsmanship are not mutually exclusive. The World From Here is unlikely to go down in history as one of Llama's essential releases, although it's a pleasant and decent EP that the group's serious devotees will enjoy.
The World From Here Review
by Alex Henderson