Tony Furtado - Thirteen
Guitarist Furtado aims for an exploration of inner and outer personal wars here, informed by current and historical events. While lyrically his sense of American history and its ragged soul is sincere, his much-praised fretwork is too restrained for the intensity of the emotions he chooses to explore.
Covers of "Fortunate Song" and "Wont’ Get Fooled Again," as choices, are a mix of daring and obviousness. While slowing each one down, and meditating not on their rage but resignation is laudable, the relaxed, mature take on these covers—he also covers Elton John’s "Take Me To The Pilot"—illustrate my main issue with the release. Relaxed and comfortable acoustic music treads the dangerous line of slipping into the "nice but irrelevant" category. Furtado is obviously an accomplished guitarist, and his heard is the right place, especially on the title track, a tribute to the Sago miners that is both accomplished AND heartfelt. Yet the overall vibe of the set is so uniform that it is hard to invest any emotion. This is a good record that needed to get Real Gone in order to be a great one
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