T Bone Burnett

Tooth of Crime (Second Dance) | Nonesuch
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  May 27, 2008
3.5 3.5 Stars
The follow-up to Burnett’s shambling, politically charged 2006 masterpiece The True False Identity (Sony) — as well as his work as producer/matchmaker behind the hit Alison Krauss/Robert Plant collaboration Raising Sand (Rounder) — is a dark, cynical, vaguely futuristic song cycle triggered by a Sam Shepard play. It’s also a sonic adventure thanks to Burnett’s current signatures: booming drum kits sans cymbals, knotty guitars, lyrics sung through amplifiers, and an open, airy quality that’s the antithesis of modern rock production. Romance inevitably leads to collapse in these songs (despite the gentility of Burnett’s Beatles-like tenor vocal performance in the love ode “Kill Zone”), which are set in “The Rat Age,” when greed, indulgence, and the cult of personality rule. Somehow it all boils down to the cornerstones of sin and salvation, which resonate in the roiling closer, “Sweet Lullaby,” Burnett’s slide ’n’ rumble extrapolation of hill-country blues.

T BONE BURNETT WITH ALISON KRAUSS AND ROBERT PLANT | Bank of America Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave, Boston | June 5, 8 pm [OFFICIALLY SOLD OUT]
Related: Art and politics, Marc Ribot, On the racks: May 16, 2006, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , The Beatles, Robert Plant, Alison Krauss,  More more >
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