SONGS OF THE UNFORGIVEN
Crash Test Dummies
Good and evil. Darkness and light. The sacred and the profane. You can't have one without the other. Especially not if you're Brad Roberts.
On last year's lascivious Puss 'n' Boots, the singer-songwriter and sole surviving member of Crash Test Dummies made out like a mack daddy. But on Songs of the Unforgiven, he's like a Saturday night sinner seeking salvation on Sunday morning.
Holed up in a Minnesota church with a congregation of supporters -- angelic vocalist Ellen Reid and Suzzy Roche, members of slowcore outfit Low, keyboard MVP Chris Brown and producer Scott Harding -- Roberts trades his technicolour dreamcoat for a preacher's robes on these 17 cuts. Over swirling pump organs, slowly strummed guitars and molasses-slow grooves, the baritone Roberts sombrely intones psalms of death, darkness and delivery, coming off like a cross between Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Elmer Gantry. And the brooding neo-classical folk hymns of Songs of the Unforgiven come off as his most sincere, spiritual thoughts to date. Amen to that.
1 Prelude (0:19)
2 Sonnet I (And When the Sun Goes Down) (2:31)
3 And So Will Always Be (3:16)
4 Unforgiven Ones (2:54)
5 Interlude 1 (0:23)
6 Come Down to the Sinkhole (2:34)
7 Is the Spell Really Broken? (3:53)
8 Everlasting Peace (2:39)
9 Sonnet 2 (And Back in Ages Past) (2:40)
10 Beginning of the End (3:00)
11 Interlude 2 (0:36)
12 You've Had Your Run (3:21)
13 There Is No Final Winner (2:13)
14 You've Done It Once Again (3:46)
15 Sonnet 3 (The Cold Is Here) (2:04)
16 Wicked and the Evil (3:03)
17 Postlude (1:16)