Cracker rediscovers their classic rock roots with Greenland, their first new album in three years. Greenland, was mostly produced by singer/guitarist David Lowery and John Morand. The duo also enlisted production aid from Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous and Alan Weatherhead. Linkous and Counting Crows guitarist David Immergluck make guest appearances on the 13-track record. This follow-up to 2003's Countrysides, a collection of country-folk covers that the band adopted while touring the southern U.S. under their Ironic Mullet pseudonym, finds Cracker rediscovering the rock.
This just in: David Lowery doesn't take himself too seriously. OK, so maybe that's not news to anyone. Perhaps the real news is that he takes himself more seriously than usual on Greenland
, Cracker's first studio album of new material in four years. Leave it to Lowery and crew to open with a country-tinged cover of a song by the little-known West Virginia band American Minor. Yet, the sad-sack story of "Something You Ain't Got" fits in perfectly with the Cracker ethos and is one of the disc's sharpest cuts. "Night Falls," dare it be said, is a poignant and beautiful ballad about lost love. On "Maggie," Lowery sings, "you're everything I ever wanted, but I'm half of what you need." For all of the lyrical twists, the band's true strength is still its penchant for creating diverse, well-honed, and irresistible music: Here, they glide from Who-style frenzy, psychedelic folk, and raunchy blues rock to light reggae, blissful pop, and ominous prog-rock. Yes, Lowery may still trample the line between wit and goofiness like a summer camper who stole a six-pack the night before the big talent show. But, more than 20 years after he took the skinheads bowling with Camper Van Beethoven, he still has much to say and seems to enjoy saying it. --Marc Greilsamer