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Stereo Rodeo [Import]

Rusted Root Audio CD

Price: CDN$ 8.50
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Rusted Root June 2 2009
By Michael Hogan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Rusted Root seems to change their music from album to album while keeping true to what has made them successful. Stereo Rodeo is no exception. There is a definite shift in style, but I can still tell it's Rusted Root. The change in style is not a bad thing, and I suppose it's less of a style change than style honing.

The cover of Suspicious Minds is fantastic. The saxophone is unexpected but fits perfectly. Dance In The Middle is a nice throwback evoking memories of the Cruel Sun album and seems to be Root's token country pounder (Rain, Virtual Reality, Kill You Dead). Bad Son is a good and not-at-all subtle political rocker. Perhaps my favorite part of the album is the bookmarking of the mellow Stereo Rodeo with the Santana-esque jams Driving One and Driving Two.

Overall, the album is great. Probably 4.5 stars, but I'll throw in the extra .5 star versus taking it away. The album may lack some jams and is a bit slower than previous Root, but this fine band continues to make good music, even in the face of constant band member changes. I can tell that the style honing is due to the loss of some band members and the addition of new ones.

I recommend Stero Rodeo. You will quickly be adding a handful of these songs to your mp3 player.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars solid album May 26 2009
By blue canary - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Finally, a new Rusted Root album! While not as exuberant as some of their early work or as innovative as Welcome to My Party, Stereo Rodeo is still entertaining and fun to listen to. Even though there's less "jam" to this album, you can still hear the strong percussion that drives Root's music. It's been great to hear the band's evolution, since not every group can change so much and still sound like themselves (it helps that Mike has such a recognizable voice!). "Bad Son" is my particular favorite on the album. My only complaint is that I want to hear more of Liz!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stereo Rodeo is awesome. March 3 2009
By Mark A. Straub - Published on Amazon.com
Excellent album. Rusted Root is still as amazing as they were when they started about 20 years ago.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent May 23 2009
By J. Knopic IV - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Nothing to say that hasn't been said already. This disc was well worth the wait. It contains a nice mix of styles from past albums as well as more recent. Don't hesitate to grab this one. I also liked the personal touch of the album cover, a painting by lead singer Michael Glabicki.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wish I could get into it March 30 2011
By Just a poor grad student - Published on Amazon.com
The production feels pretty thin ... the sound itself feels thin.

I would have to disagree with all of the reviewers but the one who dissed the album ... I don't feel the energy. I feel the attempts at energy, but I don't feel it making it there. Maybe I got spoiled in the early 90s, circa 93-95, around and immediately after When I Woke came out, when I used to see them every month at Graffiti in Pittsburgh. Those were great shows (they used to do a killer cover of Sympathy for the Devil) and that was a great album, the production was thick and fat but had teeth to it. Of course I also think that was their best line-up ever because they had Jim Dispirito on percussion ... and he's just really really good. This album looks like a pretty decent turn over of cast, and feels like sort of desperately stretching for something new, not getting anywhere near it because it's trying too hard. I should say that in my opinion one of the reasons it's easy for any of their albums to pale in comparison to WIW as their debut on Mercury Records, is that that album was a very matured product. 5 of the songs they had already been through the refining process of the studio once before, on "Cruel Sun," their indie debut, and for that album (WIW) gone through refining them again with another good producer. ALL of the songs had been road-tested live for at least a year (I first heard ecstasy on a 4 song demo from them when our band [defunct since 93] swapped shows with them in the PGH/Western/Central PA area in 91).

For reference/gauge of my tastes in reviewing this, here's my span of their albums:

Cruel Sun:
a bit rough production (PGH studios are not the best, in spite of Dave Brown being a good producer) but captured the feel of the early days pretty well.

When I Woke:
Amazing album, full bodied sound, amazing energy, good flow of material that made it a full album, more than just a collection of songs ... captured all the energy of the well honed live show.

Remember:
At first I hated Jerry Harrison for this one, thought he took them through the same dive into washed out ethereal sound as the Heads made after little creatures (first time I watched RR play they reminded me some of the early Talking Heads albums). Since then have come to the opinion that while it doesn't have the lyrical character of When I Woke(even "Scattered" I think has a little more distinction on Cruel sun, even though the production is rougher and the sounds is thinner), and it's not as consistent, Harrison's production is still real production, sleeker sound than WIW but still full bodied - some of the songs still have enough energy to keep me going at the gym ... nothing since this album has been able to do that

Self Titled:
Stalling, can't get it really started again ... not the way it was (saw them live during this tour ... the only time they really hit the energy of the old days was when they did their old standard of inserting the first verse of All Along the Watchtower into Cat Turned Blue [I think the recording of CTB on Cruel Sun has it ... that was always a power moment at Graffiti shows])

Welcome to my Party:
Sounds like you're trying a completely new direction ... that's, um, interesting

Stereo Radio:
Apparently the center didn't hold as strongly in the cast list either (not that I thought Wertz and Bunyak contributed that much ... Berlin always had the better voice and used it better) ... just like it's not really holding very well in the music ... feels like you're trying too hard.

I'll still go to see them in May in NYC, where I now live, but more as a nastalgia thing ... based on this album I'm not expecting the same show I used to see, the type of show I get my fix for with Balkan Beat Box now ... it will probably be fun ... but just fun.
(makes me a little sad ... I always thought Mike Glabicki was a really strong son writer when he is on his game, and I loved those shows at Graffiti in those days, some of the best live music experience I have had)

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