The Lower East Side O0405


rovi.MR0000423311 4/26/05 Used
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Review Text Eric Heatherly has been languishing in Nashville limbo ever since the release of his debut album, 2000's Swimming in Champagne. Despite scoring a hit single with a cover of "Flowers on the Wall," the album slipped through the cracks after Mercury (Heatherly's label at the time) went though a corporate overhaul following a merger; Heatherly's second album for Mercury was shelved when the label didn't hear a hit, and a deal with Dreamworks came and went without his third album, Sometimes It's Just Your Time, ever reaching stores (though advance promo copies of the disc fetched a healthy sum from fans). Given all this, it's no great surprise that Heatherly decided to take matters into his own hands for his fourth album (and second to be released), The Lower East Side of Life. Producing himself, playing nearly all the instruments, and recording on his own dime, Heatherly takes a more stripped-down approach on The Lower East Side of Life, with the focus squarely on his limber but muscular vocal style and his rock-solid guitar work. His songs also take on a more personal edge, with Heatherly taking on the music business ("Hang It on Your Heart," "Who Needs Enemies "), looking at his life with both joy ("Love Story Love") and sorrow ("Whatever Happened..."), and discussing the stuff of regular lives with honesty, understanding, and compassion ("Job," "Ruin"). The final product is a warm, soulful set of tunes that certainly has an emotional and musical advantage over the music delivered by most of his Nashville compatriots, and more than repays the promise of his debut. Now hopefully it won't take another five years before someone lets him make the follow-up. ~ Mark Deming

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Judging Beauty - 3:07
  2. 2. Hang It on Your Heart - 4:56
  3. 3. Job - 3:22
  4. 4. Ruin - 4:31
  5. 5. Whatever Happened... - 4:36
  6. 6. Lower East Side of Life - 4:39
  7. 7. Who Needs Enemies (With Family Like You) - 3:27
  8. 8. Dark Days - 4:08
  9. 9. Go Where You Hide - 4:59
  10. 10. Love Story Love - 4:58
  11. 11. Way Down - 4:59

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