Album Review

Cracker - Greenland

Cracker - Greenland

Cracker's first album of original material since 2002 is hung up on broken hearts and faded good times. Frontman David Lowery sounds more reflective than usual as he wonders whatever happened to his California heyday on "Where Have Those Days Gone", or pines for lost love on, well, a bunch of other tracks. Lowery's irreverent sense of humor hasn't deserted him -- "I Need Better Friends" is packed with snarky lyrics, and there's a stellar Dr. Seuss reference on "Gimme One More Chance" -- but he seems determined to milk the melancholia here. His gloom is never all-consuming, though. Lowery is too smart to wallow for long, and even if he weren't, the roots-rock arrangements are strong enough to stand on their own. There's a stormy southern Gothic thing happening on "Sidi Ifni", and a blend of guitars, piano and harmony vocals sprawls through the leadoff track "Something You Ain't Got", a cover of a song by West Virginia band American Minor. Lowery has said that Greenland is the most personal and autobiographical album he's ever made, one that helped him decide whether he still wanted to be a musician. Fortunately, it seems the answer is yes.