Friday, October 9, 2009

Kris Kristofferson - Closer To The Bone

Kris Kristofferson occupies a completely unique place in popular music. He wrote classics (“Sunday Morning Comin’ Down” and Me and Bobby Mcgee” to name just two big examples), he has made several great albums (The Silver Tongued Devil and I is one fine example) and he has squandered the love of his fans by not making albums at all, or by making crappy movies. A couple of years ago, he seemed to wake up to this fact, and started to produce good music again. His new album is the most substantive release he has unleashed in years, playing on all his strengths as a poet, a cultural icon and a singer of rare emotion. Like Johnny Cash or Tom Waits, Kristofferson’s voice is an acquired taste; rough, shaky and just barely hanging on to the tune. That said, once you have made the leap and embraced that craggy piece of driftwood, it is a Mount Rushmore type of love - it becomes one of the most expressive and true compasses your emotional boat uses to navigate the byways of life. On this album he addresses the loss of dear friend singer/songwriter Stephen Bruton on several songs, the love of family (“From Here To Forever” and “Holy Woman”), the travails of fame (“Sister Sinead”) and offers up the kind of personal insight that so few writer’s can pull off convincingly. When he is doing it well, Kristofferson writes songs that go straight to the true heart of the human condition and make some sense of it with words and feelings we can all relate to.
Paul Epstein

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