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i'm not a critic but i play one on the net

I finally got some time (having your own office is good for these things) to listen to Ken Layne's CD. I suck at writing the clinical sort of review you see in magazines. I'll stick to a blog-like review.


Ken Layneís The Analog Bootlegs is at once familiar. You swear youíve heard these songs before, maybe in a dark bar back in those heady days after high school when you swore you were going to give up college and become a traveling bohemian musician. Itís the vibe thatís familiar, the strains of a sincere voice beckoning you into that barroom, making you drink watery tap beer and maybe developing a crush on the guy sitting on the stool, playing his guitar and singing right at you.

Listening to a song like Worried, you get a Rolling Stones feel and Monkey Cup makes you think of Nick Cave while Like A Train is definitely Lennon, yet Layne layers those sound with something - letís call it an aura - that lifts the sounds up from the speakers and gives them some unique color that is nothing like any of the artists the song first evoked.

The final song, National Day of Mourning is one of those tunes I can imagine listening to late at night, headphones on, in total darkness, coming off a red wine drunk. In fact, I could listen to the entire Analog Bootlegs that way which, from me, is high praise. I save those moments only for songs that pull at that small space inside my gut and make me long for things Iíve forgotten about. Like smoky barrooms and tap beer and sincere guys with guitars.


That was a great review. I know what you mean about coming off of that "high" and listening to tunes. I rarely drink anymore but actually did this week end at the wedding that took place in my own back yard. I ended up listen to Zeppelin III and The Stones Some Girls outside pretty late (neighbors never did come bash my door in). They both sounded better than they have in years.

Hey Michele,
I was offline for several days moving to a new house. Your site looks way different. Did you do something or is my laptop having one of those acid flashbacks that I myself was promised, but that never materialized?

It's a damned good review; it's written from a distinct point of view, and it conveys all the essential information without making it unnecessary actually to hear the darn thing.

best review I've seen

Layne's music is terrible. Listen for yourself, and ignore this propoganda. Smokey barrooms? More like singing baboons! Puhleaze.

Friends shouldn't make friends listen to their self-produced crappy yowlings.

I think "Mama, Take Another Stand" is the best