For Shawn Crowle there is no in-between. You’ll either love this album or you’ll hate it. Whatever you do think of it, you’ll have to admit that he is a seriously unique Canadian voice.
Crowle is an experimental folk singer- as strange as that sounds. His music borders on Tom Waits territory. It’s truly something interesting to hear.
The musical arrangement of Crowle’s songs is usually pretty basic- a guitar or two and the occasional keys. This suits his album perfectly. An elegy is a mournful lament for the dead, and the songs conjure up images of a barren town covered in blowing dust. The guitar chords are simple and beautiful.
What will make a listener love or hate Crowle is his voice. I mentioned he’s somewhat like Tom Waits, in that his voice takes some getting used to. His voice is wheezy and raspy which could be a dealbreaker. And this is what makes him so interesting- his vocal style is radical, something you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.
Overall, the album feels exactly like an elegy- each song feels like it is mourning the dead; there are even a few song titles about specific people. Crowle is truly a voice that you need to experience when you’ve think you’ve heard them all.
Top Tracks: “Running”; “The Rock & Roll Band”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)