The songs on Tremolo were deliberately sprung on Blue Rodeo on the day of recording, in order to ensure spontaneity -- they spent a day working on each song, but not becoming overly familiar with any of it, in order to keep a fresh edge to their performances. And for the most part, it worked -- the result is a technically polished album that retains a good deal of jam-type spontaneity and can rank up there with the very best work of Poco; indeed, this is sort of the studio analog to that group's most popular early-'70s album, Deliverin', achieving similar results in the reverse manner. The sounds range from genial acoustic folk-rock ("Moon and Tree") to more reflective singer/songwriter-type pieces like "Falling Down Blue" to bluesier songs like "Fallen From Grace" and harder, heavier numbers like "No Miracle, No Dazzle," which could pass for Buffalo Springfield on a good day. Other numbers aren't quite as strong, and a few, like "Disappear," run a little too long for their own good; but then there are songs like "It Could Happen to You," with its dazzling wordplay and wonderfully fluid guitar work, which, in an alternate universe, would have been the greatest song ever written by Richie Furay. And "Brother Andre's Heart" bears a startling -- but not unpleasant or excessive -- resemblance to "Wild Horses" as the Flying Burrito Brothers did the song. One must conclude, a triumphant album.
by Bruce Eder