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The True False Identity

4.0 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 16, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Hot off the heels of being the chief music producer for "Walk The Line," "O Brother, Where Art Thou," amd "Cold Mountain," T Bone Burnett's highly anticipated record marks the first new music from him in 14 years. Featuring 12 compelling tracks, The True False Identity is destined to be another treasured record from one of music's greatest legends. The DualDisc version features intimate live music and spoken word performances by T Bone, making the first time T Bone has performed his own material on camera in more than 15 years.

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T-Bone Burnett has been hard at it since his last record of original songs in 1992: nominated for a songwriting Oscar, winning a production Grammy, composing movie soundtracks, and serving as one of his trade's most valuable studio musicians. But with those most fascinated by his remarkable resume, it's all about the songwriting, and on The True False Identity, Burnett substantiates his role as a composer and performer steeped in traditional American music. Backed by a scrupulous cast of players and drawing on his candidly innovative wordplay, Burnett not only has put the world on notice, he appears far from content with the outlook. "The cat's out of the bag/And it ain't going back," he pleads wearily over a machine-gun drum in "Fear Country," one of several tunes where Burnett enunciates more as dustbowl rapper than west coast songster. His relevant narrations include an undercurrent of religion in law ("Blinded by the Darkness"), the modification of history ("Every Time I Feel the Shift") and a cadenced appraisal of Frank Sinatra and his running buddies ("Palestine, Texas"). Teaming a Dylan-like poetry scheme with a searing guitar lead, "Palestine" begins as a mis chievous nursery rhyme, until Burnett aims his invective at the nation's leaders: "When you come out of this self-delusion/You're gonna need a soul transfusion." Listening to The True False Identity, we've already got ours. --Scott Holter

More from T-Bone Burnett


Twenty Twenty: The Essential T-Bone Burnett


The True False Identity (Dualdisc)


O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Produced by T-Bone)


Walk the Line
(produced by T Bone)


King of America
, Elvis Costello (produced by T Bone)


T Bone Burnett

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 16, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000E6UWEE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #376,461 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Do you know how long it has been since T-Bone Burnett has released an album of his own? I do. It's almost fifteen years, and I've spent a good deal of that time checking record bins and lists of new releases waiting for something new to appear from him. Now that it's here, I cannot say I'm surprised to discover that T-Bone Burnett's new album is unlike anything else he has previously released. Maybe the change is because he was influenced by a few of the artists he produced (Cassandra Wilson, Elvis Costello, etc.), or maybe he was inspired by some of his soundtrack work ("O Brother Where Art Thou" and "I Walk the Line" were both created under his guidance). Either way, the change is both profound and startling.

In the past, Burnett's work displayed a keen awareness of Americana, with an underpinning of pop structures that made his music both unique and contemporary. On "The True False Identity," Burnett seems to be unconcerned with pop, instead relying on his own instincts to provide the sonic palette. The result is an album unlike any other that I have heard. Each song on this collection plays like an aural depiction of a subconscious thought, structured to follow the whimsical paranoia of Burnett's inner voice. "Fear Country," "I'm Going on a Long Journey," "Earlier Baghdad," and almost every other track here has a sense of underlying menace that is offset by a nearly playful lyricism. "Palestine, Texas" is flat-out absurd, with a `name game' rhyme-ology that can make you laugh out loud, albeit uncomfortably ("Frank who is swank robbed a bank with a tank for a prank...").

Structurally, almost all songs here share an even-paced, loping rhythm and dark, film-noir-esque arrangements that are perfectly suited to Burnett's wry voice.
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Format: Audio CD
I love this album! After more than a dozen years of producing other people's albums and creating incredible soundtracks, T Bone Burnett has returned with a great CD of his own music. The songs on True/False Identity reflect the accumulated wisdom an American legend. As you would expect from T Bone, the lyrics are compelling, with trenchant social commentary wrapped in biting wit.

The band that backs T Bone is terrific. Built on a foundation of Jim Keltner's drumming, the band delivers pulsating rhythms and compelling melodies.

True/False identity is a really important CD. Check it out.
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Format: Audio CD
T-Bone Burnett shares a place with a handful of artists who have strong and devoted followings, but whose music is perhaps too thoughtful to sell huge quantities. Quality is often more important that quantity. Burnett burns on his new set. My favorite track is "Seven Times Hotter Than Fire" with its driving electric guitar and the mesmerizing tromp of T-Bone's burning footsteps, "If I was dead & buried in the cold hard ground, I would rise from the grave & come & track you down." Another favorite is "Baby Don't You Say You Love Me" with a similar tribal beat pulsing and T-Bone's voice emotionally raw, "Every day you haunt me, first you hex me then you taunt me, then you leave me in this twisted misery." These tunes rank with his best work. From T-Bone's early days with the B-52 Bombers to the Alpha Band, T-Bone has pushed the limits with experimentation. On "Blinded by the Darkness" we experience Burnett's talk-sing as the guitars create a wall of chaos in the way he views the current political landscape, "Shouldn't sin be left to the laws of God & to the laws of nature; Can we trust this to the legislature." Similarly on "Every Time I Feel the Shift" Burnett talk-sings his frustrations about popular culture's shallow nature that could forget an 11th Commandment, had there been one. When Burnett rocks as he does on "Zombieland" & "Palestine Texas," his music is cutting edge. "The True False Identity" is an excellent set. Set against the backdrop of his classic catalog, it may shine slightly less. However, on its own merits, it's worth the exploration. Enjoy!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not easily accesible--this is not lighthearted easy listening. It takes abit getting used to. Maybe like me, T-Bone's quirky production has gotten in the way of his songs in the past, and the first listen I felt the same thing. More annoyed than anything. However, I admire T-Bone so much, I made myself keep listening to it because I really wanted to hear what he had to say. Slowly but surely I began to tune into the lyrics, the punk-like fervor and anger imbedded in the heart of every song,the incredible guitar work of Mark Ribot and the overall sense of purpose in the music. This is the soundtrack to the decline of western civilization, and a howling yelp of personal angst as well. I don't think there is a bad track on the cd--most are outstanding--'Seven Times Hotter...', 'Long Journey...', 'Fear Country', are my favorites. Crank 'em all up LOUD. The True False Identity speaks volumes to our world today--it requires a listener's ear, a poet's heart, and a sublevel of frustration and disillusionment to listen to this adequately--don't expect to charmed or mollified, but do expect to be moved. T-Bone gives life to the old bumpersticker, 'If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.' Listen to this--often. A piece of art, a statement as strong as this cd, makes George Bush nervous.
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