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Fate's Right Hand based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
I am a hard one to please in the music category. I can find fault with virtually everything and I must confess... I am hard pressed to find one thing I do not like about this album. The title track of this album is a much welcome departure for Crowell with it's Dylan-esque feel to it. It is bone honest and inspiring. Then a song like this is is counterbalanced with ""Come on Funny Feeling" that is carefree and childlike. There are some great contributing players on this album including Gillian Welch whose harmonies on "Time to Go Inward" are haunting. This album is almost self deprecating with songs like "The Man in Me" and makes you want to be able to see yourself with that level honesty he seems to posses... as uncomfortable as that might be. This is unlike any of his earlier works in that it is deep in meaning and content, but it has not lost a bit of that Rodney Crowell energy that is infectious.
Crowell’s led a full life, both in music (Nashville songwriter, Hot Band member, New Traditionalist hitmaker, chart-topping producer) and alongside (comrade of Townes Van Zant and Guy Clark, Mr. Rosanne Cash). He’s drawn on the latter to fuel the former, co-writing with his pals, and creating a confessional album detailing the demise of his marriage. With such a deep history, it’s no surprise that Crowell’s fifties find him mining a rich vein of experience and creating the best music of his already illustrious career. ¶ "Fate’s Right Hand" extends the autobiographical themes of 2001’s "The Houston Kid" by moving from reminiscences of the past to contemplations of the present and questions of the future. Crowell’s eleven new compositions take his familiar course between optimism and despair, but unlike those written in younger years, the emotions are firmly grounded in a life already half lived. The stock-taking of "The Houston Kid" is replaced with deeply reflective thinking of what personal history has wrought, and what the future may hold. ¶ Crowell’s writing has always succeeded on its emotional transparency and the vulnerability thus created; the perspective of middle-age amplifies Crowell’s motivation for internal discovery and self-confrontation. He contemplates the continuity of life and after-life, thinks about whether picking the point of transition makes any sense, and sympathizes with those left behind. He takes stock of the world with the title song’s blistering string of non-sequiturs (a more worthy followup to Dylan’s "Subterranean Homesick Blues" than Billy Joel could have ever hoped to pen), and, as he puts it, deals with "the uncertainty of a clouded future and the sorrow of a botched past." ¶ "Time To Go Inward" finds advice given by Minnie Pearl having grown to fruition, and "The Man in Me" steps outside the songwriter’s current circumstance to anticipate the old man he might become. The album closes with philosophical advice from father to daughter, by way of George Harrison’s "All Things Must Pass" -- a fitting wrap to the album’s themes. ¶ Crowell and co-producer Pete Coleman give the sound a rootsy edge, featuring luscious acoustic guitars, mandolin, banjo, dobro, shuffling drums, and a lining of Hammond organ. There’s a great deal of power in the assembled band’s playing, augmented by guest turns from Jerry Douglas and Bela Fleck, but it never overwhelms Crowell’s singing or his incredible songs.