The Walkabouts

Trail Of Stars

Release Date: 08/02/1999 · Format: CD · Catalog-No: GR 450

Back home then. One of the most graceful bands of our time has (re-)found its ideal business complementary to realize their musical ideas after their two-albums co-operation with a major record company. These circumstances are often readily referred to as "excursions", but knowing the Walkabouts this expression implies too much of aiming conciseness and too little of passion. Two of the reasons leading to this co-operation's conclusion that by generating "Devil's Road" and "Nighttown" manifested former Sub Pop veterans' change from folkrock to melancholic urban pop.
Because here the Walkabouts present themselves in a more reduced way than ever. A fascinating pursuit of consecutive development as "Trail Of Stars" lets their songs breathe deeper and more impressive. This album carries the band's expressive abilities in every single note and controls a piece of spartanic, air-giving piece of music in the best of meanings. As music's true art is omission you can breathtakingly well observe the Walkabouts precisely employing their means for the sake of the song.
Everything is a little better, a little more surprising. Chris Eckman's as well as Carla Torgerson's voices sound more immediate than ever; Terri Moeller's drums accentuate in an almost jazzy way; electronic bits by founding member Glenn Slater fit in harmonically. And new bassman Fred Chalenor lets his rhythmic skills - backing on his experience he made with John Zorn and alikes - support the songs to a sensitive maximum. The album was produced by Phill Brown (Talk Talk, Mark Hollis, Roxy Music). Everything shines forth in splendour, and there are nice little things to discover in some of those formerly unlighted corners.
And how bright these little things shine if you are ready to admit their splendour. "Crime Story", for example, could also arise directly from a Tarantino or Rodriguez movie soundtrack if not Eckman's smoky voice contrasted the flickering desert air. The Walkabouts do not complain about the upcoming millennium, they pity the little remaining time to shed tears in this one ("Last Tears"). The single release "Drown" flows in perfect pop before it culminates into hypnotic repetition in the end. And finally "No One The Wiser" lets the 'star trail' fade in the light of sunrise with small bits of trumpet and strings, and for an instance you believe to approach the day a bit wiser and a bit more promising.
You will get the feeling that "Trail Of Stars" could be the definite Walkabouts album - the essence that one will look back upon from some point in the future. 100% Walkabouts.

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1. Desert Skies
2. Straight To the Stars
3. Gold
4. Last Tears
5. Crime Story
6. Hightimes
7. Harvey´s Quote To Me
8. On The Day
9. Till I Reach You
10. Drown
11. No One The Wiser

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