Album Review

Blue Rodeo - Nowhere to Here

Blue Rodeo - Nowhere To Here

On Blue Rodeo's Five Days In July album of a couple years back, the band consistently produced track after track of terrific country-flavored rock 'n' roll. A very successful, very talented quintet with platinum sales in their Canadian homeland, they've been trying to crack the States now for nearly a decade, issuing five albums that have pretty much all found their way to the $2.99 special bin. Nowhere To Here is typical of much of their other stuff. They have a lot of influences, they wear many of them on their collective sleeves, and the listener gets to hear them all throughout each album. Listen to the leadoff track, "Save Myself", for proof: A lick that immediately has one thinking Stones' "Moonlight Mile" for the first half minute or so, right until Jim Cuddy breaks in with a lead vocal that sounds like it could have been lifted from Dark Side of The Moon. And it continues. "Girl In Green", the next track, has all the qualities of some of the latest from Oasis. Another, "Better Off As We Are", could have been written by the Jayhawks. This album, like the previous ones, are nice pieces of music made by a talented bunch of guys. Unfortunately, it's not much more. And at just over an hour, it can make for a long, frustrating listening experience. It has moments that may have you playing it more than once -- the beautiful, pedal steel-tinged "Side Of The Road" (not the Lucinda Williams song); the Petty-esque "Get Through To You"; the eight-minute tearjerker "Flaming Bed" -- it ultimately fails by trying too hard to be too much to too few. Too bad.