Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

Cowboy Junkies

At the End of Paths Taken

2007-04-17

The Cowboy Junkies have made a career out of songs that percolate through a languid, narcotic haze. Their best efforts draw you in and force you to linger around the nooks and crannies of some other place. This release mixes things up a bit more musically as evidenced by the near heavy metal crunch of "Cutting Board Blues", the almost bouncy "Still Lost" and the strings that infuse "Brand New World" but there are still plenty of the slow, hypnotic tunes that will keep the fan base satisfied. On the lyric front guitarist and chief songwriter Michael Timmons explores the complexity of family relationships and how the events of modern society can reduce individual options even while the world is more open to possibility than ever. Some of the tunes such as "It Doesn’t Really Matter Anyway" are so dark that they make the lowdown blues seem like songs of hope. A bit of light enters the picture by virtue of the light, almost airy, "Blue Eyed Saviour", and the angelic children’s choir on "My Only Guarantee" but it’s hardly enough to illuminate the black hole of gloom that inhabits most of the disc. If you like the Junkies you’ll enjoy this. If you haven’t been converted yet this disc won’t change your mind. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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