999 - Cowboy Junkies 'Trinity Session' (1988)

My Rating: 2.50 out of 5
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die:
Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums: X
The Mojo Collection: X

Chart Peak (UK/US): --/26

Favourite Tracks: I Don't Get It
Least-Favourite Track: Sweet Jane

For some reason I imagined the Cowboy Junkies were some wall-of-noise grunge outfit so this album really took me by surprise. I didn't quite know what to make of the folky acapella opening track but as I went along the album really grew on me. It's got a really laidback, ethereal quality coupled with an alt-country feel that reminded me of Lambchop or early Tom Waits. I probably made a mistake listening to this on a bright sunny morning as this is a real 'after-hours' record - I think I'd have scored it a lot higher listening to it late at night after a few beers. I like the unrefined, demo-like quality of the recordings too (including the chatting at the end of the session) as it gives the album a real stamp of sincerity. Ah, I just read on Allmusic's review that it was all recorded live in one night with just one microphone so that explains a lot. On the downside, it can sound a little samey on first listen; these cowboys are riding a bit of a one-trick pony (ouch, sorry about that), but it's a rather a nice trick so I think I can forgive them that.


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