No Word From Tom 0206


rovi.MR0000425574 2/7/06 Used
$3.37 $4.49

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    No Word From Tom 0206 Waveland / Nettwerk / Nettwerk/Waveland

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Review Text If it sounds somewhat odd to switch labels and release an album of "covers, rarities, outtakes, demos and live recordings," that's because it is rather odd. These are the types of items, after all, that usually show up on a box set if a group stays together long enough to warrant one. Be that as it may, No Word From Tom, Hem's third album (following Rabbit Songs in 2001 and Eveningland in 2004), is made up of odds and ends from the band's five year history. The collection begins with Sally Ellyson's a cappella rendering of "All the Pretty Little Horses," one of the songs that served as her introduction to the band. The album follows with a lovely, laid-back take on "Rainy Night in Georgia," a cut custom made for the band's trademark, low-key, country-flavored arrangements. It's easy to compare the band to the Cowboy Junkies because like the Junkies, Hem takes things nice and easy; both bands are also fronted by female leads with compelling voices. Hem's sound, however, is much more folk-country, more steel than electric guitar, than the Junkies, and Ellyson's tone is lighter, more ethereal, than Margo Timmins'. The best stuff on No Word From Tom is great, and includes a version of Fountains of Wayne's "Radiation Vibe," "The Present," and R.E.M.'s "So. Central Rain." The last cut, in particular, injects an emotional depth into the lyric that digs deeper than the original (plus one can actually hear the lyrics here). Hem has an appealing talent for completely re-imaging these songs in their own style. There are other things to like on this collection, including straight takes on country classics like "Crazy Arms" and "Tennessee Waltz," though the album runs thin in places. Demos and live cuts, as No Word From Tom progresses, begin to sound like filler. For this reason, the recording will probably not take on the classic status of Hem's previous albums. Nonetheless, the good stuff here is so much better than what passes for alternative country and progressive folk, making No Word From Tom a worthy stopgap in the band's history. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. All the Pretty Horses - 1:30
  2. 2. Rainy Night in Georgia - 5:30
  3. 3. Radiation Vibe - 4:45
  4. 4. Present - 5:46
  5. 5. Cincinnati Traveler - 1:02
  6. 6. Betting on Trains - 4:49
  7. 7. South Central Rain - 3:10
  8. 8. Tennessee Waltz - 3:46
  9. 9. Sailor - 4:35
  10. 10. Eveningland - 2:11
  11. 11. Idle - 4:42
  12. 12. Crazy Arms - 2:24
  13. 13. Oh No - 2:11
  14. 14. All That I'm Good For - 4:34
  15. 15. City and the Traveler - 1:03
  16. 16. Lazy Eye - 3:34
  17. 17. Beautiful Sea - 3:40
  18. 18. Golden Day Is Dying - 3:46

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