Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Jackson Browne - The Naked Ride Home (2002)


Released September 2002

This is an excellent album from Jackson Browne and one that, for maybe the first time, sees Browne sounding like other artists. Sure, there have always been echoes of Bruce Springsteen here and there, but here Elvis Costello, Sting and Deacon Blue are exhorted.


1. The Naked Ride Home
2. The Night Inside Me
3. Casino Nation
4. For Taking The Trouble
5. Never Stop
6. Walking Town
7. About My Imagination
8. Sergio Leone
9. Don't You Want To Be There
10. My Stunning Mystery Companion              

“The Naked Ride Home” is beautifully bassy, melodic and with a typical yearning vocal from Browne featuring some subtle, riffy backing guitar too. Jackson has still got it. This is superb. He is still a most special artist, to me anyway. The more you listen to this track, the better it becomes. “The Night Inside Me" is another riffy, tuneful upbeat number. More classic Jackson Browne rock. “Casino Nation” is a staccato, slow burner of a bluesy track, with a mysterious feel to it. Great guitar, bass and keyboards. This is one that has hints of Sting to it. “For Taking The Trouble” is slow-paced but gritty, with Browne’s voice now a bit more gravelly with age. “Never Stop” has, for me, many echoes of Deacon Blue’s output from the same period.

“Walking Town” sounds so much like Elvis Costello as well in that shuffing sort of way and Browne’s voice seems to be aping Costello at times. “About My Imagination” is another one in the same vein, with more Costello vibes. It is another track that really reminds me of something else but I can’t put my finger on what. Something else by Sting, maybe?

“Sergio Leone” is a brooding, atmospheric, Springsteen-esque song full of imagery about the legendary movie director. It has a killer, rumbling bass line and some addictive percussion. “Don’t You Want To Be There” is beautifully low-key with sensitive lyrics and truly lovely guitar and piano backing. It has a wonderful, lengthy brass and guitar instrumental fade out. “My Stunning Mystery Companion” is a country-ish Paul Simon-influenced number, full of superb guitar, to conclude this most impressive collection of songs. Highly recommended.


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