Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Post Rock Archive  |  About the Bloggers  |  E-mail: Click Track  |  On Twitter: Click Track  |  RSS Feeds RSS
Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 01/ 4/2011

Lost tracks: "Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine"

By Allison Stewart

john prineJohn Prine gets the tribute treatment from the likes of Conor Oberst, My Morning Jacket and more. (Lowell McGinnis)

Reviews of good albums we overlooked last year...

Once the latest in a long line of New Dylans, these days John Prine is chiefly beloved by other, more famous singer-songwriters. "Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine," a tribute disc released in June, features an impressive array of the usual tribute album suspects (Conor Oberst, My Morning Jacket) and many of the usual complaints (some of Prine's best songs have gone missing, everyone is overly reverent, no one picked his antiwar rabble-rouser "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore").

Still, "Broken Hearts" is one of the year's most spot-on marriages of artists and material. Like the best tribute discs, it showcases its subject's gifts (in this case, Prine's lyrical precision, and his vast capacity for depicting both humor and heartbreak) as much as it does those of the present-day country/folk/indie aristocracy who came to pay homage.

Some highlights:

- Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band's "Wedding Day in Funeralville." A carnival of a song essayed with uncharacteristic looseness by Oberst, perhaps Prine's most obvious heir.

- Justin Vernon's matchup with Prine's "Bruised Orange (Chain of Sorrow)." One day Vernon will attempt something other than the high, looped vocals and wispy atmospherics familiar to fans of Bon Iver. This is not that day. But the matchup with Prine, the most solid and non-ethereal of folkies, goes better than expected.

- Old Crow Medicine Show: "Angel From Montgomery." They're a strange choice for this subdued (and profoundly female) classic, but "Angel" is one of history's great songs. It's pretty hard to mess it up.

Recommended tracks: "Angel From Montgomery," "Mexican Home" (Josh Ritter), "Wedding Day in Funeralville"

By Allison Stewart  | January 4, 2011; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Quick spins  | Tags:  Conor Obsert, John Prine, Justin Vernon, Old Crow Medicine Show  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Paramore regroups with new members; WKYS names top 10 DMV rappers; Muse wants to play in outer space
Next: Lost tracks: Carol Sloane, "We'll Meet Again"

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company