“Snow” is nearly perfect. It is so good that any attempt on my part to convince you that you should RUN out the door and get this, immediately, are doomed to fall flat. But, since I’ve already started I may as well give it a shot.
This record is Curt Kirkwood emerging from ten years of hit or miss with Royal Neanderthal Orchestra, Eyes Adrift and Volcano with a strong statement thrown into the Americana ring. And, by that I mean, country flavor, even a little of Boo Bernstein’s pedal steel. Soon Kirkwood will, or should, emerge from twenty-five years of the dreaded “cult” status to take his place as a major solo artist. Don’t expect the Meat Puppets.
What we have with “Snow”, Kirkwood’s first solo project, is a deftly crafted, pristinely produced showcase for his simply complex songs. Pete Anderson has allowed the singer and the songs speak to for themselves. And speak they do, in volumes. There are more hooks here than at a suspension artist’s convention.
I have been riding around all week with “Snow” in the car’s CD player. This is a gentle, reflective record. There are ballads of ethereal beauty, knee slapping, toe tapping, hoe down, numerous sing-a-long melodies, imagery rich lyrics, surreal melancholia, natural elements of rain, fire, snow, wind, earth, thunder. The best moments, and there are many, are magical. Songs like “In Bone”, “Snow”, “Box of Limes” and “Circles” will give your spine a case of the chilly willies.