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Terry Allen

Bottom of the World – 2013 (Redeye)

Reviewed by John Walker

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CDs by Terry Allen

Music comes in different packages. There's music only meant as background music - to enjoy the rhythm or the beat, or perhaps it has a catchy chorus hook that you draws your attention. Now, if you enjoy music that has an artistic depth meant to make the listener think or perhaps visualize something, see Terry Allen's new release entitled "Bottom of The World."

It has been 14 years since Terry Allen released any new music. This mainly acoustic somewhat haunting release is produced by Lloyd Maines, who also contributes on guitar. The mostly acoustic sparse arrangements allow the lyrics and vocals of Allen to paint a vivid picture of gloom, desire, agony and just an overall question of life.

As most of Allen's records begin, we take another journey through his original 1975 "Juarez" release with an updated version Four Corners. Allen's vocals may not be as strong as they once were, but his chilling delivery of Queenie's Song, a song co-written with Guy Clark, captivates.

Other highlights include Allen's wry sense of humor onDo They Dream of Hell in Heaven, the wrenching and touching title cut along with Angels of the Wind, and the very appropriately chosen moving closing number titled Covenant, dedicated to his wife.

This is not a record you can dance with, but that was not Allen's intention. If you include a song titled Wake of the Red Witch which takes the listener through a dark journey of imagery while stating "John Wayne is dead," you will see this is a record to sit back, enjoy and perhaps think about life as you know it for a minute.